Tag Archives: mystery

L’sola defli uomini pesce / Island of the Fishmen AKA Screamers (1979)

Director: Sergio Martino.
Starring. Barbara Bach, Joseph Cotten, Richard Johnson. Italy. 1h 40m.

Somewhere in this science fiction fantasy horror, there is a great director who’s floundering out of his depths. Martino has some crackers under his belt including All the Colours of the Dark (1972).

Starting with a murder is always the best way to start a Giallo and Martino with all this previous experience kept to his tradition, a couple embark on a shifty night time mission to find hidden treasures, only to be met with clawed fish hands and bloody death in the (surprisingly well lit) dank caves of an unknown island, along with their mercenary crew who are slaughtered by the same hands along the shore. A short while later in 1891 a military doctor Lieutenant Claude de Ross (Claudio Cassinelli) survives not one but two shipwrecks and ends up on a mysterious island with a handful of prisoners survived with him. On this strange isle the are faced with hunger and some of the convicts meet grisley ends with the fishmen and the survivors flee into the jungle only to encounter Edmond Rackham (Johnson) who’s a sadistic douchebag who’s on a power hungry ego trip, alongside him is a stunning captive, Amanda (Bach). Continue reading L’sola defli uomini pesce / Island of the Fishmen AKA Screamers (1979)

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Bed of the Dead (2016)

Director: Jeff Maher.
Starring. Colin Price, Alysa King, Gwenlyn Cymyn, Dennis Andres, George Kirssa, Hamza Fouad. Canada. 1h 25m

After watching the long lost and brilliant psychotropic Death Bed : The bed that eats (1977) , I chanced upon this modern gore thriller about a similar piece of haunted furniture and thought I’d see how far we’d come in terms of awesome cinema and to sum it up in one sentence, watch the 1970’s classic instead..

This film is based on one wishy washy idea then introduces another and another then forgets to actually define why any of this is happening! But it all respect it has a respectable level of cinematography, effects and tries to be devious with a semi intelligent plot but it runs out of steam after the initial 20 minutes and fades from memory. Continue reading Bed of the Dead (2016)

Occult Angel (2018)

Director: Andy Roberts
Starring: Jack Angel, Andy Roberts,  UK. 1h 06m

While not wanting to dumb down the power of this movie, but it has to be said that this is like a British version of The DaVinci Code (2006) set around the city of Bath

and surrounding countryside,  Andy (Roberts) is a talented young student in photography  and film hooks up with his psychic uncle Jack (Angel) and friends  to uncover the secret mysteries behind the architecture and history of the city. Jack,  has a knack of hearing supernatural entities and sensing presences that are ethereal in nature, after getting his young nephew to join him in filming his investigations, young Andy starts noticing some life-changing events.

Drawing on the success of various other found footage and mockumentary films, there’s a lot of charm in occult angel. Initially a digs deep into the history of the city and the formation of famous landmarks and churches,  and then it starts to look at the prehistory, pagan beliefs and uncanny connections between prestigious buildings and pagan icons. Continue reading Occult Angel (2018)

Triangle (2009)

Director: Christopher Smith
Starring: Melissa George, Michael Dorman, Rachael Carpani, Henry Nixon, Emma Lung,Liam Hemsworth.  UK. 1h 39m

At first glance it would seem that the title seems to refer to the Bermuda Triangle, where puzzling things seem to happen at sea, but really if this film deserved an apt title it would be Loop but that would sound stupid.. so triangle it is.

The film is quite smart and even with rounds of repetition it’s still interestingly constructed, sly and a fairly deep piece from British Director Christopher Smith who gave us deeply disturbing projects such as Creep (2004).

Set in the US, with a totally Aussie/New Zealand crew, there are a few accent faux pas but they are totally acceptable in the time loop chiller, that seems to be a cross between Ghost Ship (2002) and Donnie Darko (2001), that sees a group of youngsters take a jaunt on a fancy yacht and run into curious difficulties. Continue reading Triangle (2009)

Unfriended (2014)

Director: Levan Gabriadze
Starring. Heather Sossaman, Matthew Bohrer, Shelly Hennig, Moses Storm, Jacob Wysocki. USA. 1h 23m

Just when you thought it was safe to turn on your pc and bitch about your dead class mates.. think again mofos! Unfriended is a modern found footage desktop horror. A group of friends are chatting together online when their dead “friends’” account comes online and starts terrorising them both on and offline, with the threat that if they close the chat then they die, but staying in the group chat doesn’t change their fate either they are stuck between a rock and a hard place and forced to sit back and watch each others demise, but they get to view the disgusting violent ends of their BBF instead.

It’s the anniversary of Laura Barns suicide, a year to the day she committed suicide after a video of her passing out and crapping herself at a party went viral. On this tragic anniversary her former best friend Blaire enters a skype chat with her boyfriend and some of her close friends but when Laura’s facebook account starts sending messages they expect that someone in the group is pranking them. One by one each of the teens are outed on social media and then begin to act strange and appear to kill themselves, has Laura come back for revenge?

Well it’s so obvious what’s going on here, it’s pretty easy to work out who leaked the video and who’s back for her revenge, the only expectations are the slayings and they are pretty silly, one girl drinks some bleach, which is plausible, as she was skyping from the laundry room, another guy just happens to have a blender in his bedroom and finds a way of using that off himself. A blender? I don’t even have one to hand in my kitchen I keep it in a cupboard, is that weird?

The idea is pure gold, using social media as a tool for a found footage basis is something that really awoke the genre again and I think that’s what got a lot of bums on seats in the cinema, but the payoff was just lousy,  it’s hard to feel afraid when you’ve personally not encouraged someone to kill themselves so really the audience were routing for the dead chick, but with a year of planning she coulda come up with something a bit more elaborate, I’d wanna make em suffer bwhahaahaaa!

It’s quite a familiar scene, teen faces looking down their webcam in a group chat on Skype and/or DMing each other on facebook, but when things start to go awry usually you just turn it off and put on a movie, call an adult or something right? These teens didn’t even work out how to go live or work out a neat hashtag for their night of bloody carnage. #allmyfriendsaredying  #shoudlaneveruploadedthatvideo #godgaveusrockandroll. In terms of the movie being an experiment of a real time online horror it could have worked better as a live “game” experience, but in the terms of a movie which is limited to mobile and laptop of the main characters also limits the audience’s depth of perception and attention. It would have been cool if you could have dialled in on your mobile while the film was on to “tune in” to some of the action.. not there’s an idea!!

Let’s hope that lessons have been learnt for the upcoming sequel, and I hope that we all know that cyberbullying is bad.. ok..

Rating 3/10

RUnfriended : Dark Web (2018), Friend Request (2017), E-Demon (2018), Truth or Dare (2018), Dark Summer (2015)
L – A-Z of Found Footage Movies, Cyber Found Footage Movies
A – How believable does horror have to be?

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Perdizioni mortali / Tulpa (2012)

Director: Federico Zampaglione
Starring: Claudia Gerini, Nuot Arquint, Michele Placido, Ennio Tozzi, Ivan Franek, Michela Cescon, Federica Vincente. Italy. 1h 24m

As dedicated nod to the 70’s Giallo movement Tulpa sees a successful business women, Lisa Boeri (Gerini) get pulled into a grotty underworld while living a vivid double life.

Opening with a gore filled sado masochistic murder. A man enters a deadly game as a dominant but soon becomes the victim of a leather gloved maniac with a wild moral compass, out of the thick bloodied and drawn out scene the story of Lisa, a ball busting,  successful business woman, well respected and admired but she keeps her nocturnal activities a painstakingly repressed, after hours she’s an eager member of a esoteric underground club, named Tulpa, owned by a strange tibetain character, a true embodiment of the hierophant played by the otherworldly Nuot Arquint . Unfortunately for Lisa, her two world’s are set to collide when her sexual partners from the club are savagely slaughtered. Continue reading Perdizioni mortali / Tulpa (2012)

Don’t Blink (2014)

Director:Travis Oates .
Starring. Brian Austin Green, Mena Suvari, Joanne Kelly, Zack Ward, USA. 1h 32m.

SPOILERS KINDA

The overall feeling of this film is like a drawn out Creepypasta, and not one of the good ones either.

The principles is simple but the story doesn’t go anywhere, let me explain. A group of 10 friends are heading out on vacation divided into 4 cars, their destination is a small resort village in the middle of nowhere. When they arrive at the picturesque town, they are shocked to find the town is totally abandoned, despite finding this quite odd they are forced to stay as they have very little petrol and no cell phone reception.(but there’s always a signal!!) So they make the most of the resort and act like nothing is odd until one by one they begin to disappear. Because a deserted town doesn’t mean anything that you should run for your lives.. Continue reading Don’t Blink (2014)

Drag me to hell (2009)

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Day 11 of 31

Director: Sam Raimi
Starring: Alison Lohman Justin Long Lorna Raver Dileep Rao David Paymer Adriana Barraza. USA. 1h 39m

This playful full horror film turns a tragedy until waking nightmare, And coming from the king of comedy horror,  Sam Raimi this film is almost faultless.  Anything that digs its way out of the twisted minds that unleash the Evil Dead (1981) onto an unsuspecting cinematic audience this  weirdtastic thriller centres around and ambitious loan clark at the bank who attempts to impress her boss by being unnecessarily firm with a  an old gypsy woman who was literally begging for an extension on a home loan Christie believes that she successful made the “tough call” that was so very important and is now front of the line for the illustrious promotion but little does this small town country girl know how much truth is in the curse that has been laid upon her by the old Gypsy Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver). Once strange things start to occur Christine seeks help help my local psychic Rham Jas (Dileep Rao) but with the skeptical long suffering boyfriend Clay (Justin Long) who rubbishes any notion of a curse down to coincidence Christine has to soldier on facing her personal demons along with the Lamia that might actually be trying to drag her to hell.

drag-me-to-hell-gross Continue reading Drag me to hell (2009)

Tower Block (2012)

towerblock2.jpg

Director : James Nunn and Robbie Thompson.
Starring: Sheridan Smith, Jack O’Connell, Russell Tovey, Ralph Brown. UK. 1h 30m

A broody claustrophobic thriller set within the confines of the average manky london unglamourous highrise. A young injured man runs frantically about the gotty corridors of a urban tower block banging on doors trying to get help but is beaten to death on the doorsteps of the tenants, the sullen faces of the neighbours faces into regret that they did nothing to help him but that’s life in the big city. The police investigate and are disgusted that at the apathy, that no one lifted a finger to help. Continue reading Tower Block (2012)