Tag Archives: movie lists

13 Days of Hallowe’en Horror 2017

This year I’ve decided to do a shorter list of only 13 items  as we were (un)lucky enough to have Friday the 13th this October and I usually fail my 31 days of Horror for October 😦

lets see if 13 is my lucky number!?! I’ll keep updating this page over the next 13 days as I countdown a fairly random list of Halloween favourites with new reviews!!

Continue reading 13 Days of Hallowe’en Horror 2017

Advertisements

My Favourite Found Footage To Date…

I’ve been asked many times to pen this and while I’m not one to shy away from a movie list no matter what the subject, I do find it hard to justify one of my favourite genres as it’s so wildly hated. So time for me to gleefully skip into the world of Found Footage.

My Favourite Found Footage To Date…

There are only a few found footage films that I dislike, for me the genre is exciting and really does get my adrenaline flowing, so much attention has to be incorporated into the making of the film which often leads to some really interesting shots and ideas that creep in, but on the flip side too much over thinking and determination to be sensational can lead to some terrible mistakes and often destroys a film.

There are a few things that really make a Found Footage work

  • Realistic use of cameras
  • Realistic camera expectations, cracked screen poor sound
  • Unknown actors, plausible for real life missing persons etc
  • Incorporating real events and places
  • Thrilling mystery

Some things that really ruin a found footage movie include.

  • Invincible cameras
  • Known actors
  • the footage is not cut it doesn’t appear to be found
  • Plays out like a normal movie
  • Too perfect and no mistakes
  • Anyway back to the list.

cannibal holocaust01.Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Following the disappearance of a group of filmmakers in the Amazon, a Doctor embarks on a rescue mission. His trip does eventually lead him on the path of the remains of the crew after experiencing his own personal taste in cannibalism. The film is gory and rightfully maintains a stance as a golden oldie of the video nasty era and one of the pioneering found footage movies. It’s brave and not without mistakes but does depict real animal killings and is still rumored to be a genuine snuff film. I do adore it’s brutality amidst the 70’s hedonistic values that crept into the early 80’s.7/10

noroi-the-curse02.Noroi the Curse (2005)

A bizarre Japanese film that follows a paranormal film maker documenting some very bizarre events, the documentary switches between several stories and clips but if you stick with it then it can be quite rewarding. As with a lot of Japanese films it’s incredibly jumpy going from one thing to another but the scares are great and imagery pretty disturbing, there’s more than the typical ghosts with long hair, check out some intense psychic, flocks of dead animals and lots of unexplained mysteries, a terrifying twist and a brilliant ending to top it all off, it really is marvelous. I really loved the freaky guy with the tin foil hat and was impressed by the effects, they weren’t expensive but executed well.7/10

afflicited03.Afflicted (2013)

After getting “Afflicted” by a vampiric virus while on holiday in “Europe” one unlucky backpacker tries his best to deal with his new unwanted lifestyle. The sickness is apparent at first but around the time that he and his best friend starts working out that he might be a bloodsucker he ends up killing his friend who was doing his best to care for his friend not matter how creepy he was acting. So alone he tries to deal with being a sucker and find the source of his virus, what he finds isn’t quite the cure he was looking for. The film seems low budget but is quite imaginative and actually interesting to watch, there is a lead into part 2 which I think could be really exciting if this could get some more backing.6/10

edtidad04.Entidad (2015)

Spain have a lot to do to if they ever want to live up to the nightmares that REC (2007) created. But the Entity (English translation) does offer some really awesome scares. A group of students start their own ameture investigations into supposed haunted videos from the internet, unfortunately one of them turns out to be true and they end up unleashing some kind of demonic force which stalks them. It’s actually really creepy, and one of the few found footage movies that utilises those creepy moments in the corner of the room, or off screen rather than missing the big events, it builds up terror but then DOES deliver. Some scenes reminded me a lot of Silent Hill 4 but that was a scary pill to swallow so well done.6/10

rec spanish horror movie05.REC/2 (2007) (2009)

I know I preach about top 10 lists then then have millions of honourable mentions and how they suck but I am incorporating a few sequels in this list, if you don’t like it “go fuck a duck”. So REC, one of the more recent films that caused the bedroom light to be left on, and a sequel that I had to watch during the day and rightly so because it brought all the fear back, sadly 3 was shit and 4 was OK but not as scary as it could have been. The whole narrative of combining “zombies” and demons isn’t new but it was a brilliantly executed in these two dark as fuck movies. A film crew are following a group of firefighters for their TV show, but one call gets them into something that is just pure nightmarish. After attempting a rescue mission they become imprisoned in an old tenant building where a zombie like virus is spreading through the remaining residents, after some investigations while fighting tooth and nail through the ever increasing numbers of infected they discover that there was a secret vatican experiment in the attic involving a priest and a young girl (not as kinky as you think). The storytelling is sound and the action scenes are literally to die for, a great cast and use of practical effects even for the most bizarre monster manageable, acted by the insanely elongated Javier Botet (check out his youtube channel). On the return we have a similar cast and more religious connotations as a new priest has to get a sample of the infected blood from the original test subject, but things go wildly wrong. Both films are dark and scary, and have a brilliant comedy zombie death scene (I know I’ve used both zombie and infected but just to clarity these are infected).9/10 – 9/10

trollhunter06.Trollhunter (2010)

Norways slick answer to the found footage monster crisis. A group of film students making a movie about bear poaching stumble on a shady character who after some stalking takes them under his wing and reveals that he is a lone Troll Hunter keeping Norway safe from REAL trolls. The film utilises a host of impressive computer generated effects, usually something I argue against but they are so detailed and executed right in this comedic horror. A sterling cast and a fierce and brilliant approach to something dynamic in the found footage pantheon.10/10


vhsthai07.
VHS/2 (2012)/(2013)

Another double whammy here, and really this entry speaks for a lot of interesting hard work. These are certainly some of the more inventive and freakily fun found footage movies of the decade. Each film has a different director but the shocking brutality of each is strong. There are different flavours and styles, along with ABC’s of Death (2012) it feels like the directors were trying to out do each other on the surreal scale, and it’s a brilliant opportunity to be outlandish and creative that really gives this shorts some zing, but there is a deeply dark under current, with a lot of mystery surrounding some of the stories, that vary from strange harpy dates, a zombie “go pro” mountain biking trip to alien abductions and my all time favourite, a satanic strange general alternative reality.. something for everyone I’m sure.8/10

poughkeepsie-tapes08.Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)


This film blew me away and continues to do whenever I watch it. in a similar vein to the banned August Underground films this mock snuff film is a little bit more approachable. This film details a documentary of a serial killer who recorded most of his exploits, it shows various law officials and psychology tutors details parts of his psyche and actions in order to gauge what insane nightmare of a person the killer must be to exact this level of degrading torture. From clips of prostitutes popping balloons for him to the bludgeoning of a little girl and the systematic re programming of his longest lived “slave” the film picks apart the most gruesome scenes from thousands of hours of home video. What’s special about this graphic content is that it does look like old 80s/90’s home camcorder tapes and it has been suggested that it is real found footage for that reason. Brilliant shocking stuff!9/10

manbitesdog09.Man Bites Dog (1992)

Whenever anyone suggest found footage to me I always totally forget this film! If you’ve seen it, you’ll wonder how anyone could possibly forget it. A deeply dark graphic insight into a serial killer, laced with tons of black comedy and gratuitous violence. The killer is a racist sociopath whose poetic and totally unpredictable. The film crew that follow him about and up getting pulled into his killing frenzies, unwillingly of course, but there is little holding anyone back in this movie, but the magic happens by how calm and “inviting” the killer is, as he brutally kills and maims people while often explaining to the filming crew and director his methods and his victims gasp for breath and plead for help, he remains joyous and doesn’t often break a sweat. 8/10

apollo1810.Apollo 18 (2011)

Just around the time when all Found Footage films were starting to feel the same, Apollo 18 came out, somehow freaking out a lot of people who inundated NASA with questions on the mission!? I thought all that hysteria died out with Blair Witch (1999) So this regular space mission goes awry when the US astronauts find remnants of a Soviet crew that look like they have been attacked but by what? Searching the barren moon landscape they find nothing… all that obvious but strange occurrences start to play on their minds but the fear is much more real. I really enjoyed the film, but I’m partial to a slower paced film, I really enjoyed the threat as it looked so unassuming but there are flaws with this film and so many questions but overall I really appreciated the old film/radio approach to the look and feel of the film.Admittedly it could have done more to bring in the crowds, been a bit flashier but I admire it’s reluctance to do that and how it remains a slow burning horror. 6/10

borderlands11.Borderlands (2013)

Ever since it’s showing at the Abattoir film festival this has been an absolute favorite of mine, a passionate priest is sent to a remote church with a film and sound specialist to investigate a proposed act of god that was caught on film, but before the Vatican are willing to accept it, they need to make sure it’s not a hoax. After arriving and setting up cameras and attempting to capture everything the two are joined by one other official but after the death of a local priest and unexplained happenings more Vatican backup is required after they realised what they have stumbled upon. It’s a brilliant display of great story writing, superb acting and a fairly unique story that the like of Ben Wheatley would be proud of and topped off with sterling performances from Gordon Kennedy and Robin Hill. The only thing that lets the film down is the final scene,it’s brutal which is a great kick at the end of a harrowing plot but i’ll let you work out why it doesn’t work. 8/10

august-undergound12.August Underground (2011)

Found footage is often the “cheap”option when it comes to making a movie, something that M Night SHalayalaylayam was accused of when he attempted a comeback with The Visit (2015), but this has to be the cheapest and most thrilling on the list. Much like Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007) the look and feel is incredibly  degraded home videos follow a couple of guys as they kill, humiliate and mame anyone who is unfortunate paths. As an example of the creativity of Fred Vogel in one scene they have a girl tied up in the basement who they beat and rape, her decaying boyfriends body is in the bathtub next to her, they abuse her, cutting off a nipple and later smear her with feces and urine, then force her to eat her beau’s toe… then things get more disturbing. It’s kinda brilliant if you like things on the disgusting side, and if you’re like me you’ll love the trilogy. 8/10

banshee chapter13.Banshee Chapter (2013)

Bejsus!! This film really got me good, and for that I adore it. I’m one of those horror fans who watches horror to be scared, I’m always looking for the next fright and this delivered it and has had long lasting effects on me. The beginning starts out simple enough, a college kid wanting to try a version of DMT that was pioneered in the MKUltra experiments, moments later his buddy films something wearing his skin.. a journalist gets involved and begins her investigations into this drug and the film gets deeper, probing into the government experiments and linking “Numbers Stations” this H P Lovecraft story had a new modern remake that makes it all terrifying once again.9/10

Great laughs in Films Vol.1

Despite how much I loathe comedy I do like a good giggle usually at the wrong moment during a disturbing movie..

amadeus01.Wolfgang Amadeus MozartAmadeus (1984)

 For anyone who knows me, this is something that you’ll hear whenever I find something REALLY funny, generally my laugh falls between Amadeus and Baby from House of 1000 Corpses (2003) (yeah I am that embarrassing). But this high pitched and comically infectious laugh is so distinctive and is one of the most memorable features of this classical  tragedy. Continue reading Great laughs in Films Vol.1

5 Selected – Christian Bale

I’ve never liked Christian Bale, I dunno what it is about his muppet face but I just want to kick it, but in all fairness he’s a pretty dedicated actor but I wouldn’t want to have lunch with the man. His dedication usually comes in the guise of his body transformations for his roles and darn it, the boy can act, he ain’t perfect a English accent but he does put some effort into his numerous character roles and when he’s not taking himself too serious he’s top notch, but he just has a muppet face.. and in NO particular order here are 5 selected Bale flicks.. Continue reading 5 Selected – Christian Bale

Creepy Old people in Cinema Vol 1

Old people are so deceptive and eat more than you’d ever think..  But they play a fairly important part in cinema, usually the good wise characters, protectors and generally helpful sources of information, love and care, but on the flip side they can be way more scary and unpredictable when they play an opposite role, so here is a list of Creepy old people, its only volume 1… so if you I missed anything lemme know..

eartha kitt erik the viking tim robbins01. Eartha Kit as Freya in Erik the Viking (1989)

I really loved her little cameo in Erik the Viking, as a witchy woman of the mountains, a fortune teller and advice giver but oh my god how she just appears from under the fur creeped me out as much as it did Erik (Tim Robbins). After watching her play catwoman as a child she’s always reminded me of a feline, and you never hear them coming… creepy! just pure creepy but subtle compared to some of these other crackpots.. are you ready.. Continue reading Creepy Old people in Cinema Vol 1

Creep (2004) Vs Creep (2014)

creepvscreep.jpg

So now there are two films called Creep and neither of them contain the amazing song from Radiohead ,  but how do they compare on the level of creepy!? (Yes I know there other films called Creep but I’m leaving the 1995 one out for now).

So how to measure the creepiness of a movie… With these two films I seem to be against everything that is on the internet. So bare with me.

Creep (2)Main Character: So we have Craig and Josef. Craig is a mutant cave dwelling psycho who was subjected to lots of medical experiments and re enacts them on anyone who is unfortunate to cross his path, luckily he lives in he London underground so he usually preys on homeless folk so he goes unnoticed. On the other hand Josef is more of a sociopath who preys on people who respond to his Craigslist where is keeps them on edge by constantly scaring them, manipulates them and eventually slaughters them.

Now for me I’m more likely to meet Craig than Josef, I’m also more likely to have beaten Josef to death for freaking me out constantly. Honestly I would have bitch slapped him into a shallow grave for being creepy. Overall I think a mutant killer who doesn’t feel pain and who captures people and keeps them in cages before operating on them is much creepier than a norbet who you could take out if you used half a brain cell, after all Josef is as creepy as that dodgy uncle you have.. oh wait that could be pretty scarring… anyway.

Creep2004 1 – Creep2014 0

Creep (3)Creep Factors : Josef is a nerd and socially awkward, he does seem to keep jumping out scaring Aaron all the time and it worked the first few times but then it just gets annoying in the film, I’m sure everyone could see it coming, apart from that factor and some stalking there isn’t much else with this film. The London based Creep has a mutant psycho, rats, nasty painful operations, being crapped in watery cages, being trapped in an underground maze and some great bloody slahserific fun. Is that 5 aspects of creepy fun!? Okay!!

Creep2004 6 – Creep2014 1

Realistic? :There have been lots of reports of people trying to lure people into sex cults and what not on Craigslist, I only know of a few true life stories where killers have utilized the listings to attract prey and that’s enough proof for me. There have been tales about the horror that go on in the old unused parts of the London underground but nothing has been verified that scientific experiments went on down there, and that kinda stuff won’t make the media lol I jest, there is some storage down there but that is it. So the only scenario, which is more plausible, is the 2014 version.

Creep2004 6 – Creep2014 2

creep-craig.jpgRatings : Overall the film score about the same but on all of the top sites 2014 film gets a lot more attention and higher ratings, which I don’t understand in the slightest. For me the 2004 Creep has so much more character, superb method acting and some tense scenes, where the hipster 2014 film just gets under my skin. Because this is my blog I’m taking my own ratings here so

Creep2004 7 – Creep2014 2

Looks like the creepiest creep; goes to the detailed dark nightmare that Sean Harris performs to perfection, and kicks the shit outta Josef. I have to admit that if the two were in some kind of show down I reckon little Craig would beat the big Craigslist killer up, So what do you think? Which film freaked you out the most? Was this a justified comparison!?

Creep 2004 FINISH HIM!!!!

Creep Portenta

April 2016 News and Updates

Film News

underworld next generationUnderworld : Next  Generation – It seems the new Underworld film is underway Underworld Next Generation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underworld: Next Generation

undisputed 4Undisputed 4 –has finally started releasing pictures and it’s looking impressive, it’s strange but the first news I had of the completion came from a bodybuilding YouTube channel, one of the massive guys was being interviewed and mentioned that he had just finished filming for Undisputed 4, I almost wept. I will be bouncing around in the cinema queue to see this.

Nina Simone Upcoming Movie – So much controversy about the upcoming Nina Simone movie as no one, including ??? believes she’s right for the part. But while this is big news and is impacting on a lot of people who agree, the film will still go ahead, and people will still go and watch it.. and so the Hollywood machine keeps on rolling. It does raise a lot of questions about who is really the best person to act in a biopic???? how much freedom do we give as “the Audience”.. to be honest, not a lot. Only last month i was quite disappointed by the Life (2015) film not only because the film was bland but I thought it could have been massively improved if James Dean actually looked like James Dean, but would the film have been better if the lead was given to an impersonator or lookalike? I feel an article coming on… But to be honest I don’t fully understand the fuss, although my choice would be Viola Davis .

BARBARELLA-2Barbarella – It looks like there is going to be a remake of one of my all time favourite films, Barbarella!! Oh man when will they leave things alone?!? It’s not something I’m ever going to rush out to see, but I do wonder what the figures would look like on new releases if all of the remakes were not counted.

Movie Reviews /Quick Flick Reviews –  I think I have the hang of these mini reviews now, although I did miss a couple of days this month I’ve done well in posting (nearly) everyday.

Dead Mans Shoes ­ 

99 Homes (2014) 

The Long Weekend (1978)

Straw Dogs (1971)

A girl walks home alone at night (2014)

Mad Max – Fury Road (2015)

Ronin (1998) 

Under the Bed (2012) ­ 

Last Nights Movies 08.03.2016 ­

Splice (2009) 

Harbinger Down (2015) 

Kantemir (2015) 

Carandiru (2003) 

Life (2015) 

Possession (2012) 

400 Days (2015) 

Abandoned (2006) 

Racing Extinction (2015) 

Candyman (1992) 

Heist (2015 ) 

4.44 Last Day On Earth (2011)

The Gallows (2015)

The Collector (2009)

 The Other Man (2008)

Topos – Moles (2012) 

House of Seven corpses (1974) 

The Guest (2014) 

5 Selected Films by…

David Fincher
zodiac

Shorts/Independent Films

Horror Shorts – Vermin, The Passenger and Hi 

3 Sci-Fi Shorts, Mech, human trials, Singularity and Mis-Drop 

Article/ Essay

Will Robert De Niro ever make a decent film Again?
Robert De Niro

I will be updating the Links page pretty soon I doubt I’ll get around to before I post this update though but I’m working on adding some awesome links to podcasts and some other interesting  movie review sites.

the-collection-e13414.jpg

News! September 2015

This has been a long time coming!! I’ve been trying to keep a list of updates and changes to the blog over the last month, so this is a recap of all the shizz that went down in September.

OMG I’m constantly neglecting my blog again and again but I’m trying to hard to catch up!

During August I managed to lose my movie book, yes i have a movie book, I keep it by my side while I’m watching films and think of movie lists, and pencil down reviews and article I intend to write about. I also list everything that i watch, keep ratings and plan this blog. So with the missing book I dunno what’s going on, yep I’m a little lost puppy.

Started up a new section it’s currently called VS! I was going to call it movie battles but this first post had nothing to do two movies batting it out but instead more to do with a single character so for now it shall be known and VS but it might change. If you have any ideas of any VS’s you’d like to see me add then please contact me by commenting on this post. So far the posts include a head to head battle of Pyramid Head against himself.

Links

A couple new links to add to the page.
Lingstar HQ – an awesome movie/tv blog https://lingstar4films.wordpress.com/

Also I’m finally letting the cat out of the bag about my awesome movie shirts, I can’t praise Dr Dekker enough for his amazing patience but I have a pretty awesome collection of shirts now. Rabbit In Red

Fuck it.. lets hope he doesn’t sue me… lets make it clear where you can access a pantheon of amazing shirts!

Vs

pyramid-head-vs-pryamid-hea

You may have noticed a new item in the header, I’m forever trying to tweak the colours to make the header much clearer but i think what I’ll have to do is change my awesome background.. lemme know how visible it is on your screens, as I’m colourblind I have a few issues anyway. So the new Versus section is here and looking to stay as it’s tres popular. it might be on hold for October… but I have a lot of work in the pipeline!

New VS Section is here 

clive-barker-vs-stephen-kin

 

5 Selected

I’ve got a few of these in the pipeline but I couldn’t miss the opportunity to jump on the RIP bandwagon and the first “5 Selected” post of the month is dedicated to the late great Wes Craven. I’m working on a list of great Hutger Hauer movies, lemme know what you’d expect to see on the list.

Reviews

New reviews are on the site which include

  • We are Still Here (2015) – a dark ad smoldering classic horror, with intelligent use of gore and great suspense throughout, with a twist of Silent Hill.
  • X Ray / Hospital Massacre  (1981) – a lesser known hospital themed slasher that’s worth a watch especially if you like a whodunit
  • Lords of London  (2014) – strangely has nothing to do with London.. or lords!?

.

Lists

During august I managed to lose my movie book, yes i have a movie book, I keep it by my side while I’m watching films and think of movie lists, and pencil down reviews and article I intend to write about. I also list everything that i watch, keep ratings and plan this blog. So with the missing book I dunno what’s going on.

After finding my movie book I’ve managed to update the monthly lists.. I will get some more interesting lists published very soon.

Shorts

I’ve been working on a few shorts but a few of them were a little hard to get pictures for, finally managed to update the following.

  • Lot 254 – A possessed auction find or just a trick of the light?
  • Predator Dark Ages – Long awaited kick-stater film based around a medieval visit from our favourite alien

 

Post Discussions

POST DISCUSSION – Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) A in depth look into another weird and wonderful Cohen brothers movie.

With most of the year gone I’m going to have to start looking closely at a couple of lists, firstly my Selected films of 2015 and Selected films I watched in 2015. The difference being that the latter will include movies from other years that I’ve only just discovered. The stand out movie will be the Duke of Burgundy (2014).

Last and not least you may have noticed I’ve been playing around with backgrounds on the site a lot, trying to find something to combat the bland gray background that I’ve had since the start.

COMING IN OCTOBER

31 Days of Halloween

I’m aiming to do a 31 of my favourite horror movies, in some slight order, I’ve been penning notes and as I totally missed the opportunity last year this year will be pretty easy, I’m trying to include a range of films, black and white, classic, and obviously from the entire globe.

Yep! wish me luck!!

Selected 15 Films of the 2010’s (so far)…

Response to And So It Begins Movie blog (check out this blog it’s brilliant!).

This was a difficult choice as I rarely look at the dates on movies! Your list was very inspirational as I had only seen a handful of the movies, (some items to add to the “to watch” list) and it was a pleasure to see Kynodontas – Dogtooth (2009) on there but I thought it was a 2009 release!? My bad if it is 2010 then it will definitely make my top 10 and is in my top 30 of all time!! I adore that film to so many levels. I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and chuck in my Selected 15 films although the list is rough and off the top of my head, and I’m typing on my mobile so please excuse any strange auto corrections! And this is in no way ordered.

Bull head bath01.Runsdkop – Bullhead (2011)

Love at first sight! Finding Bullhead – Rundskop was the best mistake I had made in 2011. The film is brutal and powerful whiled dealing with deep personal issues and the aftermath of a terrible childhood altercation, the Flemish cattleman Jacky( Matthias Schonenaerts)  has a strange alternative lifestyle and aggression problems since the incident. It’s so beautiful, a real roller coaster ride with a bittersweet ending.10/10

the hunt02.Jagten – The Hunt (2012)

Initially i assumed an actual hunt would take place,  for a criminal or person or that some Danes were going all Deer Hunter on us, instead it’s a sordid and difficult film about an entire town turning on a school teacher after a child speaks out about abuse. Madds Mikkelsen plays a humble character in this raw story, it’s dark and chilling throughout. 9/10

the hunter willem dafoe03.The Hunter (2011)

There are two main anchors for me in this film, as a long time enthusiast of both Tasmanian Tigers and Willem Dafoe, not much could go wrong. A lone American hunter, Martin (Dafoe) is tasked to search out the possible last tiger long after their apparent extinction, his placement in Australia is a family of peaceful conservation activists who he becomes deeply attached to.Willem is then faced with a powerful struggle between his job and the consequences of it. A sombre,  slow-burning depicting a complete journey , beautiful long shots over the Australian outback and amazing acting all round even from the two very young starlets 10/10

 holy motors merde04.Holy Motors (2012)

As part of my introduction to Lofi Sci-fi,  holy motors was a sudden shock to the system,  something unique and are inspiring. Mr oscar  (Denis lavant) plays a supercharged agent who takes over various roles of people like an alien guardian angel,  chauffeured around by Celine (Edith Scob) who also takes care of all other arrangements for him. Breath taking scenes in this avant garde super film. A small cameos from Kyle,  Eva Mendes and OSTincludes let my baby ride by Doctor L. I can’t praise this enough. The Merde character goes international with a feature in Japan. 10/10

 a field in england05.A Field in England (2013)

Black and white historical occult masterpiece with a touch of blackened comedy. Ben Wheatley takes a further step into the surreal with this mystical jaunt into the bizarre. All the familiar faces reappear, with the addition of Reece Shearsmith who plays a mild mannered assistant on the hunt for an alchemist who has stolen his masters books to search for a hidden treasure in a field..  In England… the film is beautiful and haunting, the slow motion possession scene with the Blanck Mass OST running in the background is possibly the best 5 minutes of cinema history ever. 10/10

 Tangerines picking06.Mandariindi – Tangerines (2013)

This movie blows apart any Hollywood blockbuster with dazzling special effects. Its so on point and so deeply real, the lead is Ivo a father like figure who has stayed behind during the civil war to harvest his tangerines. He then finds himself harboring two soldiers from opposites sides of the war, educating them and freeing them of hate as he heals their minds and bodies. It’s just beautiful all round, sentimentally and in the lavish landscapes of Estonia. It does have a bitter edge, it’s not a daydream that everything will be alright. I can’t praise it enough. 10/10

Blutgletscher 07.Blutgletscher – Blood Glacier (2013)

Icy, gory, mutant bloody nature gone wild HORROR! From the first preview of this I was in love, for me this was the next I can’t wait to see movie after Trollhunter (I should get excited about movies more often) A likeness can be found of Thaw, The Thing and Evil Dead all melded together with a strong European flavour of throwing traditions to the wind. It all lets rip in this unusual creature feature. A Glacier turns red with a mysterious algae which starts to mix the genes of the local wildlife as well as supersizing them. A small arctic research team and a local MP out making a publicity documentary about how much she loved the wildlife and conservation are all subject to this surreal onslaught of mutant animals and their attacks it also has in one of the best lines in a horror movie.. “Stop eating that banana while you’re crying“. 8/10

essential killing08.Essential Killing 2010

As a quiet person i am drawn to quiet films, and this one is almost silent, in a similar vein as Gözetleme Kulesi –Watchtower (2012) which should have made this list if I had checked the date of it. Either way this is a bleak story of a prisoner of war taken from the hot desert to the cold tundra of …?? possibly Russia, maybe eastern europe. The main protagonist is Vincent Gallo who masterfully takes this story by the reins. Without ever speaking he initially tries to surrender but then makes a break for it. traversing an alien landscape trying to.. get home? it’s never clear but the sweeping camera shots make the desolate landscape beautiful, in this harrowing story. 9/10

kill list thorns09.Kill List (2011)

I can’t stop raving about this film, I absolutely love it to bits, it’s raw, it’s dark, gritty and shrouded in mystery. Ben Wheatley is a master at creating a dark mystic story centered around two dodgy hitmen and their new kill list contract from a strange “Client”. Occultism, gory and bloody killings and many many questions make up this thrill ride into the unknown. I have a review and post discussion for this. It’s raw, hard hitting,  mysterious, violent and thought provoking.9/10

Sleep tight10.Mientras Duermes – Sleep Tight (2011)

After seeing Cell 211 I have been very interested in that acting abilities of Luis Tosar who plays the hardened criminal. He returns in this warped story of a superintendent of an apartment building who believes that he cannot be happy and secretly enjoys inflicting pain on others, a new tenant in 5B is his new target and unable to ruin her happiness with his usual methods he sinks further into depravity to upset his young woman. Luis is like a little black raincloud over each tenant and worker in the building acting like H? from the Resident at times,  the style of the community within is much like Junet’s Amelie but with the addition of a psychotic bully, turns the sweet tale into a horror thriller. 8/10

7 days11.Les 7 Jours de talion – 7 Days (2010)

Now we’re in the territory that i like the most! I love deeply disturbing and psychological films. this one justifies itself but making the original bad guy the lowest of the low, raping and killing a child is frowned upon by most. So it’s easy to accept what’s happening. It’s quick gorey and sick but it’s not over the top. There is a huge sentimental umbrella over the film. It raises a lot of questions about what a parent would really do to a killer peado if they got their hands on them, wrong and right it turned upside down, walls of sanity broken down. I live for cinema like this, its’ uneasy and darkly thought provoking. 9/10

beyond the black rainbow12.Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010)

Easily placed in my top films of all time. Strange story on how I discovered the film in the post discussion. Meanwhile I will elaborate on this strange film. Set in 1983 and based on fragments of memories and snippets from the time, the arboria labs hold captive a young girl with amazing and unknown psychic powers.  The film explores her origins and that of her captive in vivid textures and tones.  For me the film is stunning on all levels, an amazing OST from Sinoia Caves / of Black Mountain, who produces a thronging deep sound throughout.10/10

 bellflower13.Bellflower (2011)

As part of my introduction to Lofi Sci-fi,  I was quite open for a range of new movie styles and stories,  thinking I had started to own the genre, I was knocked sideways by this incredibly cheap movie. It’s so passionate, as the director and co lead is pulled into a strange psychological love triangle. It’s raw, bittersweet and an intense butter drama. I adore the soundtrack and the lost and lonely theme plus heavy lashings of  Mad Max  (1979) appreciation throughout.10/10

 beasts of the southern wild14.Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

This film, often listed as  a lo fi sci fi movie but I think it’s more modern fantasy. It portrays the unusual lifestyle of a young girl who lives in the in an independent southern community with her father who has a few puzzling problems of his own. With the beautiful soundtrack including my fall time favourite Balfour Brothers and the spirit of the south I adore this somewhat strange film about discovering the world while growing up in a tousled community from the perspective of a young and vibrant mind.9/10

 15.Thanatomorphose (2012)

This movie was so elusive but eventually after a couple of years,  searching far and wide I found a copy in the second hand shop! A dark, morbid, unsettling, sexual spiral into the abyss is the best way to describe it. A creative Canadian girl wakes up one day rotting. Thanatomorphose itself means a fear of rotting. When the rot starts every emotion is masterfully played out, in this dark fear filled movie. It’s quiet and slow, a small cast enhance the loneliness and isolation. The film has already been copied so it’s potential is clear. I do urge that this original is watched.for me it’s one of my favorites depressing and disturbing movies. 10/10

Selected Tournament Films

A big thank you to the Gavster and Columbo for helping me on a couple of items for this list 😀

Every now and again, a man or group of men have to prove themselves worthy but not kicking ass just once… but several times.. they enter a tournament to prove their worth. The aspect has influenced cinema and sports for several years, here’s my list of obvious and slightly sketchy tournament based movies.

bloodsport

01.Bloodsport (1988)

Van Damme’s earliest talking action film, has him running from the police (Forest Whitaker et al) and partaking in a secret tournament where the players often fight to the death, possibly the cheesy start of a new western genre of tournament style movies. It reintroduces martial arts into popular cinema and helped boost many new careers. JCVD is typically terrible in his acting but the fight scenes are impressive. JCVD has to fight up the ranks to challenge the reigning Kumite champion Bolo Young. 7/10

kickboxer

02.Kickboxer (1989)

JCVD is back again only a year later, from Bloodsport (1988) with a slightly different tournament film with a bit more blood and high levels of violence , JCVD has to learn Mauy Thai in order to avenge his brother. Sentimental and cheesy but great fun, a prime example for a display of splits and early mixed martial arts. 7/10

Enter the Dragon

03.Enter the Dragon (1973)

Cult classic Bruce Lee  revenge goodness! Lee is after some payback and agrees to spy on a kingpin who organised a tournament of fighters, Lee goes through several rounds before getting a chance to tackle the highest ranked fighters including Bolo Young. Tons of classic fighting scenes throughout, possibly the most classic and memorable tournament film of all time!!? 9/10

tournament

04.The Tournament (2009)

So hard not to mention this, the title gives it away. A secret tournament is organised every 7 years with the world’s greatest “hitpersons”, they are tasked to kill each other to the last person standing for a cash prize,  an alcoholic priest is accidentally pulled into the game, and Ving Rhames is on the war path for revenge, small cameo from my favourite Boyka character all round fun action flick. 8/10

running man

05.Running Man (1987)

Loosely based on the 1982 novel of the same name by Stephen King published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, Running man tells a paranoid story in a similar vein as a classic from  Philip K Dick, Ben Richards (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is framed and placed in prison for a massacre he avoided. Later on he’s picked up for a TV Show called Running Man where real live death and carnage is an everyday occurrence in a twisted big brother  greed ridden future. The show involves him facing various trained and armed “Stalkers” including outrageous performances from Jesse Ventura, Jim Brown, Erland Van Lidth De Jeude and others, the film also has in a few musicians such as  Mick Fleetwood and Dweezil Zappa. Many memorable moments in a now slightly camp 80’s action flick. A guilty pleasure but I do adore the explosions and mindless violence of the 80’s. Underneath it all there is a very poignant story of how society is slipping into a chasm of filth and hate.7/10

condemned

 

A slightly unusual battle Royale with Steve Austin, a director buys a bunch of criminals from various prisons worldwide, then literally chucks them onto a remote island set up with cameras and films them killing each other while streaming live death on an Internet channel . One of the better wrestling movie spin offs, it has a range of fighters, lifters, actors including  Vinnie Jones and Nathan jones,  sadly as it’s WWE it spends a large part of the film preaching that violence is wrong.  But it’s actually quite a good movie, lots of ass kicking, explosions and SpiderBait playing Black Betty in the OST. 7/10

awol lionheart

07.AWOL (1993)

JCVD King of the tournament films!! Returns with a early 90’s chic underground fighting circuit that he drops into via escaping the French foreign legion. Again he has a typical black side kick and again he combats a lot of different fighting styles while being chased by the law. It’s basically the same as lot of previous movies and some of the family sentimental crap is choke worthy but I still love this film AKA Lionheart. 6/10


fearless jet li

08.Fearless (2006)

Modern classic starring Jet Li as a brash child bully who becomes a humble loser and in turns transforms kung fu into the Olympic sport we know today. Jet li fights various street championships in the beginning of the movie to become the town’s champion, then after some more brutal beatdowns and stupid vengeance kills, he is on the road to redemption. Upon returning home a better man he has to enter into a tournament with westerners (including Nathan Jones) and one japanese fighter (Shidô Nakamura who looks like Justin Timberlake) to show kung fu’s full potential 8/10

undisputed-iii-redemption

09.Undisputed III (2010)

This movie sees the return of our beloved Boyka (Scott Adkins) returns for long awaited showdown to be the next most complete fighter in the world,  but his new catchphrase is “shut the fuck up” teaming up with Turbo (Mykel Jenkins) as the gym bunny odd couple in convict Battle Royale, Gaga (Mark Ivanir) also returns with some other familiar faces in this brutally well choreographed third part. Also check out the Admit One Film Addict Article The Boyka Connection 10/10

The Warriors

10.Warriors  (1979)

not strictly a tournament movie but one lovely based on an old Greek legend. The Warriors are framed by a rival gang for killing Mr Can-You-Dig-It,  and have to leg it back to their hub in Coney Island.The “stages” are battles with other gangs and they get harder as various members of the Warriors are eliminated or arrested. A comic book style gauntlet is set and the gang have to fight for their lives all the way home. It’s a cult classic for many reasons, great characters, some of the most quoted scenes in film history, If you’ve not taunted anyone with “warriors come out to play” or shouted CAN YOU DIG IT then you’ve just not lived.  10/10

Arena

11.Arena (1989)

80’s sci fi at it’s possible best! A strange cheesy flick of a young man who is forced into fighting in the Arena there are creatures from all over the galaxy are involved in a massive contest of their fighting abilities. The young buck Steve Armstrong (Paul Satterfield) has to not only fight his way up to the beast that is the existing champion Horn (Michael Deak) but he also has battle against the corrupt system behind the games run by a ruthless man called Rogor (Marc Alaimo), It’s not going to win many people over by today’s standards but if you like retro sci fi you could do a lot worse, a lot of the cast have since appeared in various Sci fi TV shows, this really kick started a lot of careers and sci fi ideas in more modern shows. 8/10


battle royale

12.Battle Royale (2000)

In the future bunch of Japanese school kids are tricked into going to a remote island to kill each other in the craziest battle royale out there. As part of a new school regime the teens are pitted against each other and with careful monitoring and the use of explosive necklaces similar to Wedlock (1991). The situations are bizarre and the film is tainted with Japanese surrealism. Beat Takeshi plays a sadistic teacher monitoring the kids and??  is a desperate schoolboy trying to save himself and his girlfriend from the terrors of the island.10/10

afro samurai

13.Afro Samurai  (2007-2009)

technically a series but I have it as two movies, steampunk nouveau magna at it’s unique best.  I was floored by the first episode/chapter, it was like watching Akira (1988) all over again, literally a breath of fresh air, something totally new and unique, wow, just wow. The basic premise is that there is a number 1 (who has the number 1 headband) the biggest badass on the planet, and everyone has to compete in showdowns until they get the right to wear the number 2 headband and therefore have the right to challenge the number 1, while the mechanism is quite simple the films get deep taking on elements from a lot of the older samurai stories as well as modern fighting plots. Incorporating beautiful freaky character design and starring Ron Perlman and Samuel L Jackson,  the dialogue is just as crisp as the animation. The battles are regularly placed throughout and not TOOOOO over the the top, but this is the world of manga mixed with ghetto attitude, similar to an edgy Ghost Dog (1999) so expect the unexpected. 10/10

mortal kombat

14.Mortal Kombat  (1995)

this was a brave film to attempt and it failed so miserably but is worthy of a mention here. Mortal Kombat was the shit hot game to have and master, then someone had the not so brainy idea to try and translate the fast paced gorey game into a film. le sigh.. A plot had to be devised from a game that didn’t’ really have one and characters we all know and love were given wishy washy back stories, turning the much loved game into Power Rangers on acid. But the inter-dimensional martial arts tournament known as Mortal Kombat is now a cheesy action movie that you can successfully drink through then get nostalgic and play your friends at the game instead. 3/10

real-steel

15.Real Steel (2011)

Loosely based on a short story by Richard Matheson and originally produced as a short in the Twilight Zone series, Real Steel takes the story to the effects high life and re invents the story for the average american family to fall in love with. Robots now replace people in huge fighting bouts and Hugh Jackman has to get a little bot that couldn’t to the finals to win some cash for something. It’s cute and if you’re into effects then you’ll be wowed but not for long CGI glamour doesn’t last forever, sadly there is more sentiment than fighting and personally I’d prefer for the story to go full mecha or steampunk as an improvement and forget the family epic, make it a gorey action movie.. 5/10

robotjox

16.Robot Jox (1989)

Late 80’s post apocalyptic sci fi from director Stuart Gordon, where turf wars are decided by the battles between giant robots (that look like plastic transformers)  and stony macho men with bad attitudes! Taking the bravado and menace from any robot inspired Manga this film shows the ongoing battles between the western-influenced Market and the Russian-themed Confederation, a similar set up to Mutant Chronicles (2008)  and battles that influenced, Real Steel  (2011) and Pacific Rim (2013) land and resources are fought for by using the giant robots in battle, the winner takes all, some argue that it’s a leftover used in Crash and Burn (1990) 7/10

best of the best

17.Best of the best (1989)

The over active Eric Roberts and Chris Penn are unusually cast in this ever so important Tai Kwan Do  tournament movie. The guys are collected by a surly James Earl Jones and trained to a Korean team to be crowned the best of the best. The unlikely bunch include a peace loving Buddhist (John Dye) and a slightly fitter Penn. As much as this is in the list, most of the movie is orientated around the human spirit triumphing over all. but there are some decent fight scenes near the end. 5/10