Director: Michael Petroni Starring: Adrian Brody; Sam Neil; Bruce Spence. USA/Australia. 1h 30m
Surprisingly dull supernatural thriller starring a couple of big names, refuses to make a splash despite having the makings of a depressingly creepy horror but it’s just too long winded and lacking on many fronts which is a shame as usually the cast shine above others.
Una Magnum Special per Tony Saitta / Shadows in an Empty Room (1976)
Director: Alberto De Martino Starring:Stuart Whitman, John Saxon, Martin Landau, Tisa Farrow.Canada/Italy. 1h 54m
Shadows in an Empty Room is a distinct 1970s crime film with mad tones of Euro grime; this De Martino might be out of place in Canada, but it doesn’t drag for a minute. Shadows in an Empty Room is what would remain if you stripped a Giallo movie of its euro trash, bumped it up with a heavy Polittesco narrative, and went full frontal.
On the campus of Montreal college a man notices his ex girlfriend having a moment with her lecturer, and suspected lover, Dr Tracer (Landau), later on that evening a prank turns into a suspicious murder, and the prime suspect is Laundau, and his student/girlfriend is stone cold. Unlucky for him, her brother is a hard ass police officer, played by Stuart Whitman and his back up is the steely eyes John Saxon and they are about to get some Canadian Justice.
Director: James Glickenhaus Starring: Robert Ginty, Christopher George, Samantha Eggar, Steve James. USA. 1h 39m
Sometimes a bit of vigilante justice is glorious to watch and you don’t need to be Charlie B or Van Michael to wake a city up. In Glickenhaus’s blood action thriller, a once kind and quiet man turns full on Rambo when his friend is attacked and crippled by a bunch of goons, but getting revenge on them just isn’t enough; he’s not going to give up until all the streets are clean.
John Eastman (Ginty) doesn’t look like the human terminator that he turns out to be, the retro Russell Crow is all about the good things in life, years after being exposed to the horrors of Nam he’s just the average Joe, until provoked and he brings Nam to NYC.
The film isn’t a commentary of mindless violence, but when it gets gritty it really does swing an ugly and dangerous bat, there’s people being fed into meat grinders, and the trademark flamethrower crispy death scenes. It’s something that could have gotten real video nasty in the right hands. But exterminator it way more than just another exploitation film, and being one of the early voices to the damaging effects of the war without the moniker of PTSD being uttered, it spread a message which is still relevant today.
If you’re lying, I’ll be back.
– John Eastman
We have to assume that once the blood has been shed and the tables levelled that our hero bad guy killer is just going to go back to a peaceful life, but there’s a sequel and in my honest opinion there should have been a lot more.
Related: Exterminator 2 (1984), Stone (1991), The Soldier (1982), Shakedown (1988), Defiance (1980), Deathwish (1974), Punisher (1989)
Director: Chino Moya Starring: Johann Myers, Ned Dennehy, Burn Gorman, Kate Dickie, Tim Plester .UK/Estonia. 1h m
After watching a deeply profound movie Undergods from Chino Moya, I still have questions, but I don’t really want to utter them too loudly in fear that the Corpse Collectors might come.. Very much in the vein of Domink Moll, Peter Strickland, and Ben Wheatley, this trippy blend of strange comedy and the darker elements of human nature, really creeps under the skin and while the film trips over its own message from time to time there’s mountains on mythology and messages worth contemplating. There’s a familiarity in both worlds depicted here, worlds in which we can all recognise but just uncanny valley enough for us not to properly understand.. or maybe we don’t want to admit to it.
The only way to confirm that you were watching a horror movie in the 1980’s was the moment a pair of boobs were flashed across the screen, the exposure of flesh was the indicator that you were in for some slaherific blood and gore, monsters and creeps and this 1988 film is a perfect victim of its age! The intro plays out like a dated underwear advert (something the director was king of having filmed over 600 of them), but this panty advert lasts what feels like 20 minutes, but luckily the models are soon hacked to pieces so don’t get too attached..
Director: J R Bookwalter Starring: Matthew Jason Walsh, Barbara Katz-Norrod, Thomas Brown, Cherie Petry, Shannon Doyle. USA. 1h 10m
Jeff (Walsh) works in a dead end job, working the night shift in a gas station. The lonely young man doesn’t have any friends and no prospect at anything more lavish in his working life than mopping floors and stacking shelves, but his home life is worse. Each morning Jeff returns home to a domineering mother, a woman.. a vampire hell bent on making her son into a cold blooded killer like herself as she feasts on neighbourhood kids and beats him into submission.
Director: Dick Lowry Starring: Meredith Baxter, Stephen Collins, Michelle Johnson, Kelli Williams, Stephen Root, and Lori Hallier. USA. 1h 36m
We’ve had Alien Vs Predator and Freddy Vs Jason and even Godzilla vs Mothra, but have you ever seen a jilted wife fight her husband, the horror generated by a blond bombshell feeling the grips of age and jealousy is nothing compared to the other hollywood beasts. If at some point ,Betty Broaderick turned up at a 50ft woman and shot lazers from her eyes at his “deadbeat” husband while people flee in terror then no one would be shocked.
In it’s own rights there’s an air of horror about (directors) taught drama. The case of Betty Broaderick was one which shocked America and the world was glued to her televised court case, the details all too much to chromphrend for a lot of people. How can a wife be so cold hearted, but no matter what Betty did or was accused of, she also had her fans, it wasn’t even a matter of Hybristophilia, there was a jisted ex wife uprising on the cards, so what did Betty do?
Director: Alan White
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Andrew Wholley, Joel Edgerton, Leah Vandenberg, Aaron Blabey, Marty Denniss. Australia. 1h 30m
When Barky (Denniss) returns home for his fathers funeral he thinks is safe from the pain and attempts to reunite with his brothers and find some closure however the mood isn’t quite what he expected, his presence sets off a keg of love, hate, resentment and frustrations. After two years of living away, the young 20-something has no regrets about leaving the grip of his fathers violent rages which are painfully detailed in flashbacks.
Director: James McTeigue Starring: John Cusack, Alice Eve, Luke Evans, Brendan Gleeson,Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Sam Hazeldine, Dave Legeno. USA. 1h 51m
Journalism and celebrity are the subjects of this Victorian clad detective story. Fictionalising the final days of Edgar Allen Poe, giving him some majesty while being down and out in Baltimore 1849. No one wants to publish his iconic flavour of the macabre anymore and his life is in tatters.
Director: Henry Alex Rubin Starring:Jai Courtney, Nat Wolff, Finn Wittrock, Arturo Castro, Beau Knapp .USA. 1h 39m
It’s hard not to feel a little bit conflicted with the ending of Brothers In Arms AKA Semper Fi. The film successfully builds up a golden camaraderie between a pair of brothers Callahan (Courtney) and Oyster (Wolff) who, along with their Marine Corp Reserve Brothers, they manages to pull off the impossible and with the best intentions but in the big scheme of righter and wronger, was it really justified?