Tag Archives: mystery

The thing on the doorstep (2012)

Director: Tom Gliserman
Starring: David Bunce, Rob Dalton, Susan Cicarelli-Caputo, Ron Komora, .UK. 1h 29m

For a long time, a majority of Lovecraft’s cinematic works were so underground that the biggest films were fan made efforts like this, although despite it’s challenges I personally found the aesthetic approach and storytelling to be exactly what the story calls for.

Based on a short story of the same title by American Mythos writer H. P. Lovecraft, The thing on the doorstep is part of the Cthulhu universe but has heavy undertones of a PI film Noir. Originally written in August 1933, and first published in the January 1937 issue of Weird Tales. Now captured by Tom Gliserman in a fan funded effort, and commonly found quite cheaply on a number of streaming services, so there’s no excuse, give it a shot, and see if you’ll join the numerous fans who still revel in the heady atmosphere.

Continue reading The thing on the doorstep (2012)

The Silencing (2020)

Director: Robin Pront Starring:Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Caleb Ellsworh-Clark Josh Crudda, Annabelle Wallis, Zahn McClarnon . Canada. 1h 33m

Backwoods horrors seem to have traveled from the deserts of the southern American into the cold forests of the north, incorporating indigenous folklore along the way. The Silencing tries to keep itself in the here and now, offering a grimy armchair detective mystery with icy drama, some daring thrills and a fathers promise to find his missing daughter at all costs.

Continue reading The Silencing (2020)

Dreams of a Life (2011)

Director: Carole Morley Starring: Zawe Ashton, Everyone else as themselves. UK/England. 1h 35m

What started off as a shocking headline, ending up depressing and confusing many who sparked up a conversation about the unknown woman involved. The woman was found dead in her apartment, having died 3 years earlier and had gone totally undetected for so long. The crime scene investigators turned up after bailiffs to a striking scene, with Christmas present covered in dust and the television still on, she had passed on her sofa.. but for 3 years went totally unmissed? It was always very concerning that someone would just fall between the cracks. Many couldn’t fathom how the utility or council hadn’t come for payment much earlier but what really got under the skin of the nation was that no friends or family had reported her missing or called on her in all that time.

Continue reading Dreams of a Life (2011)

Midnight meat train (2008)

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)

L’étrange couleur des larmes de ton corps \ The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears (2013)

Director: Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani
Starring: Klaus Tange, Ursula Bedena, Joe Koener .France / Belgium / Luxembourg. 1h 42m

This deeply surreal and lavish bizarre movie from French duo Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani take a step further into dreamy symbolic realms than their previous Giallo Esque romp, Amer, a project which excited cult-movie fans a few years back, both share an experimental blend of imagery with heavy Giallo tones eroitic vingnettes commenting on gender and sexuality with it’s withed dialogue and richly opulent architectural decadence that hides the identity of a killer. On returning home Dan (Tange) finds his girlfriend missing, assuming that she’s met a terrible fate he searches for clues as the world around him begins to flourish with fragmented images of horror and fear. Continue reading L’étrange couleur des larmes de ton corps \ The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears (2013)

Devils Familiar (2020)

Director: Kieran Edwards
Starring: David Clarke, Uriel Davies, Kieran Edwards .UK. 1h

This creepy found footage movie is more homemade than handmade, but delivers an interesting investigation but does it bring anything new to the genre?

Opening with a Birdemic grade intro after a camera lands on the doormat of the local police station the film is put together and replayed for the officers.

A couple of Uni hopefuls, Elliott Mooney (student number 06852105) and Jake Mcintyre (student number 05437921) to be precise, are making a documentary about a terrible crime that happened near their university, back in 2006, a man was found brutally murdered, another man “disappeared” in a case known as the Ribbesford Woods Murders. Sally Edwards was sent down for the murder but over the years a local legend has sprung up about wild beast stalking the forest. With a feverish interest and tons of energy the duo rush to start filming footage for their final degree piece. Continue reading Devils Familiar (2020)

The Barber (2014)

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)

Dwellers The Curse of Pastor Stokes (2020)

Director: DenShon Hardy
Starring: Sean A Kaufman,Tiffany Brown-Tavarez, Alan Bendich, Stan J Adams. USA. 1h 33m

There a lot of question marks hanging over the heads of everyone involved in DeShon Hardy’s paranormal horror that follows a curious Pastor, Jonathan Stokes (Kaufman), when his fellow clergymen Bishop Taylor (Bendich) is on his deathbed, he reveals an interesting concept that the spirits that are released during an exorcism simply follow the priest back to their church and wait to follow their parishioners home to haunt them and thus spread like an occult disease. Continue reading Dwellers The Curse of Pastor Stokes (2020)

A Thought of Ecstasy

Director: Rolf Peter Kahl,
Starring: Rolf Peter Kahl, Ava Verne, Deborah Kara Unger, Lena Morris. Germany/USA. 1h 30m

This gentle murmur of a movie is half waking dream and half private investigation but the apparent nightmare that runs throughout its winding narrative is hidden behind a psychosexual noir.

A majority of the movie follows a bemused love sick German trailing around the American desert, in search for his estranged lover. With long sun bleached shots of the desert where naked bodies writhe together, mixed with elaborate sexual encounters set to pounding electronic soundtracks, the movie feels like a series of naughty dreams, but it’s easily missed quirk, is that the movie is strangely set in the near future, in an America going through a unusual heat wave and kind of political turmoil, this erotic thriller is science fiction as much as it’s art house, but the blend, while unusual is pretty captivating.

After finding a random book that reminds him of a heated love affair he had 20 years previous with a woman named Marie, Frank (Kahl) is spurred on by the reminder of their dark sexy fuelled romps, and immediately heads out to the USA to investigate the author. Her literary agent Liz (Unger) confirms the author is the same Marie, but has no contact details for her. Frank hangs around and meets a sex worker named Nina who sets up sophisticated scenarios with her colleague ?? and the pair record the sessions, Frank can’t help notice the similarity of Nina in both the women and becomes their cameraman in order to be closer to them, as he continues to read the book/journal about the mysterious Marie who he thought he knew but is only now discovering.

This is one of those movies where the journey is the movie, the destination is something you work out after the film had ended and that’s pretty unusual, but there’s a beautiful meandering sequence of sets and encounters to experience instead of gripping hold of a solid narrative and trying to mentally rip it apart, A Thought of Ecstasy forces it’s audience to sit back and feel and experience the delirium along with Frank.

Love is immortal. Seduction is Inevitable. Revenge is irresistible.

In-between scenes of Frank driving around the desert, reading Marie’s book, which runs like a journal of her time in the desert, his time alone is pretty dry, but once he’s with Nina and co, while she is a sex worker the movie slides into soft core porn, there’s plenty of nudity and sex, which I a lot of people were willing to trash it because of this, but accepting that it’s part of adult life the movie’s ability to shift totally is really impressive. Time seems to slow down, movements become like chorographical dance, is washed out sunny USA becomes soft and luxurious and very dark both in lighting and mood, this nightlife is very different and very seductive. You can see why Frank wants to be there, but the nagging feeling is that someone wants Frank to want to be there, and this is the big mystery which slowly unfolds to it’s resolute climax.

Rolf Peter Kahl, is the holy trinity of this project, director, writer and star, so while this is his all about him, you can only assume that the film is a perfect rendition of his original concept. It’s pretty easy to sit back and enjoy what’s put before you, it’s also impossible to just ignore that there is a bigger picture within a narrative that’s filled with naked bodies to move your attention away from the nitty gritty, or at least that’s how I felt about it.

On the surface it’s an attractive movie, but underneath all the softcore it’s a well of dark desires, death, a very distressing ending which is somewhat glazed over, but once you get it, it’s bloody brilliant if you can get through all the tits and art house it’s fully rewarding.

Rating 6/10

R: Amer (2009)
L: Desert Trip

Post Discussion

Missing 411 (2004)

Director: Michael DeGrazier, Benjamin Paulides
Starring. Jaryd Atadero, DeOrr Kunz Jr., Nate Eaton .USA. 1h m.

I was slightly on the wrong track with this movie, no pun intended.

After listening to the Mysterious Universe Podcast (since season 5 check out the awesome podcast here https://mysteriousuniverse.org ) I’ve heard/read a lot about Missing 411 persons, but obviously with the theme of the podcast these tales go into high strangeness often involving Bigfoot and UFOs etc etc. I was expecting to see some crazy trail camera footage and maybe some abandoned staircases in the woods, or even recounts of historical unsolved cases. In contrast this documentary movie is more about a handful of cases which represent the tip of the iceberg of Missing 411’s but with a slight connection, all cases involve young children often with hearing impairments. Continue reading Missing 411 (2004)