Mad God (2021)
Director: Phil Tippett
Starring: Alex Cox, Niketa Roman, Satish Ratakonda, Harper Taylor .UK. 1h 23m
It’s beautiful when an artist manages to present their life works, their magnum opus, their artistic love child piece, and finally after 30 years of on and off graft Phil Tippett was able to, with the help of Shudder , unleash Mad God onto the world and it hit the scene gaining nothing by admiration and rightly so.
Director: Jared Masters Starring: Grace Klich, Valerie Miller, Derrick Biedenback, Olivia Yohai, Vincent Joel, Jared Masters .USA. 1h 1m
This full on silent dance tells a story, and apparently that story is true… Jared Masters comes hot off the heels of his thriller Ballet of Blood and changes tones from blood red to whimsical Amethyst as he follows a young girl on the trip of a lifetime.
Totally silent and fully trippy psychedelic effects, this movie does manage to hold the attention through the sheer strangeness of its narrative, the cast, instead of blabbing with their mouths manage to communicate through contemporary dance and drama, which is actually more impressive than it sounds.
Sea fever, much like cabin fever strikes when everyone least’s expects it, sometimes it can be contained and only affects one person, other times it turns into group hysteria and it can be a struggle to figure out what’s real and not., but in Hardiman’s offbeat body horror, with ties to Celtic mythology, emerges a story that becomes a deep dive into our small part in the ecology of this watery planet.
Director: Gregory Levasseur Starring: Denis O’Hare, Ashley Hinshaw, Alexandre Aja, James Buckley. USA. 1h 29m
Not quite found footage, but using a lot of the first person perspective shots, the Pyramid attempts to break the story of the century when a team of experts dig up the most uncanny find in a very unusual hidden pyramid.
With a high strung story and worrying cast the movie keeps losing grasp of its own concept. Long are the forgotten days of explorers opening up NEW pyramids, they have all been raided and documented but in Levasseur’s dusty thriller a group finds a longer Lobster pyramid and begins to investigate its potential treaties.
Director: John Boorman. Starring.Nigel Terry (RIP) , Helen Mirren, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi, Paul Geoffrey, Nicol Williamson (RIP) , Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart. Ireland/USA/UK. 2h 20m.
Based on:15th-century Arthurian romance Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory
There aren’t too many movies that I can mention from my childhood that have such an epic reaction of admiration as this definition of epic fantasy. Albeit a guilty pleasure, I generally hang around heavy alternative scenes where this has become a fashion guide as well as cult classic pieces of cinema, but there’s a wealth of shiny aesthetics and magical storytelling which has never really been mimicked again making this truly unique stand alone opulent piece. Continue reading Excalibur (1981)→
Director: Rob Bowman Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Christian Bale, Gerard Butler, Alexander Siddig, Ned Dennehy, Izabella Scorupco .UK. 1h 41m
I fell out of love with fantasy movies for the surreal back in my teens, I still enjoy the genre but I live for the way out psychotropic pop surreal that goes that one step beyond. The fantasy genre is riddled with stories of dragons, maidens, cruel giant monsters, laws and riddles but going back to the standard western fantasy realm only gets a film canned as a tiresome Lord of the Rings rip off, so many attempts to bring Fantasy into the modern realm have challenged many a cast and crew, this silly bu entertaining project from X Files director Rob Bowman is interesting but slightly cringe.
After years of working the TV circuit Bowman branched out into a lengthy feature which resurrects a modern tale of dragons and legendary heroes, blending castles and helicopters, a tale of ultimate bravery and sacrifice unfolds. Continue reading Reign of Fire (2002)→
Director: Neil Marshall. Starring:Kevin McKidd, Sean Pertwee, Liam Cunningham. UK. 1h 45m.
Initially I thought this was the beginning of the hammer horror comeback. But sadly a bunch of nonchalant thrillers were released years later, that aside this is what the hammer horror revival should gave been goddammit!!
A group of clueless army grunts get shafted by their superiors into a bullshit situation with a most vicious and unlikely foe. The film begins three times, initially with a couple out camping who get attacked by an unknown beast in a hail of blood, then again Cooper (Kevin McKidd) whois introduced a hopeful to be gain access into a special ops group but is failed by the callus Ryan (Liam Cunningham) for not shooting an innocent dog on command, he’s assumed a wimp and then the third and thankfully final beginning, we get the group, headed by Sergeant Harry G. Wells(Sean Pertwee), Copper is now under his command and is was more comfortable with his underdog team. They are dumped into the middle of nowhere in Scotland, their aim is to track down and capture a group of special ops, but after some banter and a mysterious (and hilarious) cow death, they find themselves being hunted by “big ‘owling things” stumbling on the special ops camp that’s been obliterated, there are blood tracks and “remains” but no bodies, apart from ?? who has been nearly fatally wounded, but reluctantly they rescue him and manage to find a safe haven in a lone cottage in the woods, after being rescued by Megan (Emma Cleasby) who knows a little more than she’s willing to admit. So with two wounded soldiers, some bad feelings and limited ammo they make a stand against “the ‘owling things”.Continue reading Dog Soldiers (2002)→
Let us Prey (Horror, 2014) (18) D: Brian O’Malley W: David Cairns C: Liam Cunningham, Pollyanna McIntosh, Bryan Larkin, Hanna Stanbridge, Niall Greig Fulton. 1h 28m. UK, Scotland.
Synopsis : Held in a remote police station, a mysterious stranger takes over the minds and souls of everyone inside.
This is another “when a stranger comes to town” style thriller, it’s likable under powered attempt as The Exorcist III (1989) styled Needful Things (1993). It has great production and a brilliant retro nouveau style in the small nocturnal confines of a remote police station. It’s a fragile thriller with a hint of mystery in the guise of “the man” (Liam Cunningham) but it’s not really scary,but serious enough on the gore to deliver a bit of suspense and the odd bloody shock, sadly it doesn’t deliver in the bravado department, there is no major showdown when this movie could have stepped things up at certain points it simply backs away.
The idea seems based on loosely on the same theme as Needful Things (1993) except this mysterious stranger offers nothing in return for showing the inhabitants of the hushed police station; their darker secrets and exposing their carnal sides. After an stirring Gothic fashioned intro, the stranger, Six (Cunningham) descends upon a sleepy unsuspecting village police station in the early hours and without delay starts terrorising the inhabitants. Including newly appointed PC Heggie (McIntosh), who’s already going through a hazing from her colleagues. Hanna Stanbridge returns in after the success of her sleazy character in the occult thriller Outcast (2010), while McIntosh looks a lot cleaner than her (almost) silent role in Woman (2011). Cunningham doesn’t have to do much, except look mysterious in the darkness and operate his silver tongue.
After scaring the police officers and firmly locked in his cell, Six, manages to talk a neighboring inmate into killing himself in a vicious manner akin to Hannibal Lecter vs Multiple Miggs; Soon, Six begins to direct his attentions to PC Heggie and flirts with her innocence, while systematically destroying every “good” person around him, the taboo relationship between two fellow cops and misdemeanors of a young car crazy lad soon get set aside for the bigger picture of trying to stop this bizarre stranger who carries a mysterious notebook, almost as confusing at the random scribbling as Ralph Fiennes notebook in Spider (2002). With edgy flashbacks of abuse from Heggie’s past; who starts to get frantic as the movie progresses until the final eureka moment. Where she finally remembers shes supposed to the heroine of the movie.
There are a few gory scenes forced in throughout the film, cameo’s that tell about various back stories leading up until this nights arrival of Six. The film fails to really get off the ground, even when the action heats up it’s then subdued by slo mo, there is a slightly tense soundtrack but nothing all that memorable. There is a heavy psychological buzz to make up for the lack of viewing the full carnage, and the film doesn’t know where it wants to make it’s bed, gore or psychological? There is an interesting lighting technique used throughout the movie, slightly resembling a stage play, lots of low lights painting colours in the background. A lot seems to have been done to keep the scenes very hushed and calm.
Ending with a debatable finale, it’s really up to the viewer what they really want to take away from this battle of good and evil present here. Let us Prey is a fine design, but a mere rough draft of a much greater movie, but as it is, a lot is just simply absent.
Rating – 6/10
R: The Exorcist III (1989) , Needful Things (1993), Law Abiding Citizen (2009),Outcast (2010)
V: Overall there is a murky religious theme running through this movie, it has a few bursts of inspiration but otherwise it’s really easy to cast it off as a wannabe exorcist horror. There is a good story there.. somewhere, it feels that more was put into the production of the movie than really intensify the story line. It’s still a good attempt and makes for an OK watch.
Q : “this is a one horse town”
“And now it’s a pale fucking horse”
OST: Nothing to note. TIL : you don’t need a huge orchestrated ending to make a good film. BS : I did quite enjoy the slow motion death dealing near the end of the film, but what captured my attention was the small clips of still life around the station, the old style clock ticking away the enchantment of the quiet calm atmosphere. 5B : Liam Cunningham L: when a stranger comes to town, great intros part two, Selected Scottish films. PD : Coming soon