Tag Archives: o

Of Unknown Origin (1983)

Director: George P. Cosmatos
Starring: Peter Weller, Jennifer Dale, Lawrence Dane,Kenneth Welsh, Louis Del Grande. USA. 1h 28m.

There is a strong committed performance here from Peter Weller as he stars in George Cosmatos cinematic interpretation of The Visitor by Chauncey G Parker III, but it can’t shake off how “un-horror” and this horror can be at times. Instead the literary sense behind the film stands out strong but there could have been a huge opportunity for some gory visually to back everything up.

Peter Weller plays, Bart Hughes, a banking executive that is constantly outsmarted by a peculiar rat. While finalising big business ventures he’s also modernising an impressive brownstone apartment he’s unaware of a furry visitor making his home within the constitution. Continue reading Of Unknown Origin (1983)

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Overlord (2018)

Director: Julius Avery
Starring: Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Ollivier, Pilou Asbæk USA. 1h 50m

I didn’t know anything about this movie before I started seeing it’s backlash, but I personally believe that it’s a mistake to look at Overlord as a Horror movie, it’s just a Blackened Action War movie. The mechanism is generally simple, good guy Americana vs pure evil monster nazi,in between there’s a overnight coming of age, us and them dynamics and any excuse to shoehorn in some swearing and mild violence. Overall I find that the film sits neatly between a homage to lurid EC Comics series like Tales from the Crypt and the Wolfenstein video games, without taking it too seriously or trying to fit it neatly into historical facts I really enjoyed the black lead cast in their sometimes gory adventure, it’s not a great film, there’s nothing truly outstanding but for me it’s incredibly enjoyable. Continue reading Overlord (2018)

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)

Odishon / The Audition (1999)

Director: Takashi Miike. Story by: Ryū Murakami
Starring. Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina. Japan. 1h 43m.

Famed as being one of the breakthrough modern Japanese video nasties, the Audition has a sacred place in the hearts of anyone who likes the gore and chills turned right up, from the granddaddy of Japanese bizarre cinema, Takashi Miike.

Based on the chilling horror novel The Audition By Ryū Murakami (thanks to @GiornataNera  for the info, if you ever need someone awesome to follow on twitter check out this wonderful guy) and it captures an mesmerizing  dreamlike feel when things start to get weird the “deeper” throws of the movie. Continue reading Odishon / The Audition (1999)

Outpost (2008)

Director: Steve Barker.
Starring. Richard Brake, Ray Stevenson, Julian Wadham, Michael Smiley, Julian Rivett, Enoch Frost,  UK. 1h 30m.

Military horrors and bunker films have been a unique niche market for some time, when done right they offer a healthy lashing of terror, there hadn’t been much to hit the big screen since Deathwatch, where a team are tormented by supernatural forces in the trenches of WWII, add an element of the occult and science fiction and voila.. Outpost. In this murky horror a team of weary mercenaries are hired to travel into war torn Eastern Europe where they have found a well-hidden and abandoned bunker with a very unusual machine.  The wealthy businessman who picks up these seasoned troops, keeps his secrets close to his chest and while he thinks he knows the ins and outs even he’s surprised by depravity that was carried out by the deranged nazi scientists in the depths. Continue reading Outpost (2008)

Ostatnia Rodzina / The Last Family (2016)

Director: Jan P. Matuszynski
Starring: Andrzej Seweryn, Dawid Ogrodnik, Aleksandra Konieczna. Poland. 2h 3m

I was quite desperate to see this movie as Zdzisław Beksinski is one of my all time favourite painters and his biography is quite bleak, so in the right hands this film should have been glorious and it’s absolutely captivating. Continue reading Ostatnia Rodzina / The Last Family (2016)

La Weekend August 1

 

District 9 (2009) – I was flabbergasted when I realised just how much this film was hated, I got my copy for free when I asked if anyone has seen it, people were giving it away.. so I was a bit dubious about watching it, but I was hooked within seconds.. it’s a mockumentary look at a group of alien (workers) who have go stuck in South Africa. The effects are brilliant, both the alien technology and “Prons” design look and “feel” impressive. Obviously the setting is key, the messages are deep an poignant. The film is elevated by the amazing and life changing performance from ?? who plays Vikers he goes through every emotion and reacts in non Hollywood’s way, giving a more interesting and diverse story. Personally I find it so attuned and turned on, I was really hoping for a sequel, but I guess I’ll have to sit quite tight. [REVIEW]10/10 Continue reading La Weekend August 1

La Weekend July 5

Ghostdog (1999)

One of those life changing movies, and continues to be my go to film from time to time, a small indie movie graced by some impressive names, just because it’s that darn good of a film. Ghostdog is a lonely character, is only friend is a French speaking ice cream seller, his passion is Bushido and his Pigeons. After being saved by a mob boss, his adapted the way of the Samurai and looks upon this man as his master and he is a retainer. The mafia uses his dedication and sends him out to do hits. One goes awry and the mob turn on Ghostdog, but they don’t’ know who they are fucking with. Forest Whittaker plays the main character and he’s perfect, RZA had a hand in it’s production and the soundtrack takes a facet from each style of black music, it almost started a movement, (black) urban samurai 9/10

Continue reading La Weekend July 5

Oasis of Fear (1971)

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Director: Umberto Lenzi.
Starring:Irene Papas, Ornella Muti, Ray Lovelock. Italy. 1h 30m.

What a chance find in CEX helps me find one of the missing items from my Shameless collection, they can’t be all that bad right!?

A couple of hippies are bumming around creating an artistic mayhem until they get caught at a gas station for trying to sell porn photos, they go on the run but soon run out of petrol. Luckily for them, they are near a lush house and grounds (the Oasis) and try their luck at the house, initially all they discover is a frightened woman awaiting the arrival of her husband but what other secrets are locked away in this house!? The hippy couple are used to having the upper hand and out numbering the fragile woman they try to befriend her while also trying to rip her off. But gradually she starts showing her true colours and can play them at their own game, be it fueled with erotica or intense conversation she’s quite a vixen and a cat and mouse games unravels everyone’s plans. Continue reading Oasis of Fear (1971)

Opera (1987) AKA Terror at the Opera

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Day 12 of 31

Director: Dario Argento.

Starring: Christina Marsillach, Daria Nicolodi, Urbano Barberini, Ian Charleson . Italy. 1h 47m

 

Slightly arthouse but very gothic, this epic giallo film from legend Dario Argento see a fusion of opera and slasher collide in this suspense filled macabre horror. Seemingly inspired by the tragic Macbeth, that is the exact plat which Betty, a stunning understudy is working on when she is stalked by a hooded sadistic killer whose main objective is to torture Betty by forcing her to watch him kill but how’s cunning managed to keep his anonymity. On the opening night of the Verdi Opera, a stage hand is killed and all of the ravens that were brought in for the tragic opera, but the curse of Macbeth lives on and Betty is soon on the run. As the film slowly progresses every new character is a potential killer and Betty soon realises she can trust no one, a bulk of the film is literally Betty randomly getting pounced on, then upon waking up in a bound/gagged situation and unable to look away as an innocent person is brutally slaughtered in an outlandish way.

There is a unique feel in this gothic art house giallo, it has the loud badly dubbed soundtrack like so many others but the killer toys with the victims in such a bizarre manner, being one of the few gialli that focuses more on the torture aspect than bizarre settings and a horrific murders.

Poor (not so ugly) Betty, grapples to find sanctuary from this nightmare, one of the more memorable scenes is when she’s getting fitted for a costume when she finds herself bound with tape placed on her face with needles poking up ensuring that she can’t avoid watching the tailor get brutalised,and then a impromptu autopsy is performed on her after she swallows the killers bracelet. Each attack is like a small drama stage play in itself, with the intense lighting and pounding music. The torture method was one conjured up by Argento himself when joking about people shying away from his murder scenes in the cinema, he threatened to tape pins under their eyes so they couldn’t look away and materialised the fascinating idea here.

Verdi’s opera is infamous for bringing bad luck but the aesthetics inspired Argento to be a little bit more experimental with the visuals, from the early scene filmed from the black reflection of a crow’s eye to the haunting dream sequences and flashbacks suffered by Betty. The varied and well executed effects and camera work pays off, everything about the film is about an voyeurism and being centre stage, and every element is arranged in such a way where it’s all very much centre stage and “look at me”, and Argento didn’t really need to force us to look at this marvel as his attempts to make it stunning have mesmerized fans for years.

After several grisly murders and lots of flashbacks there are two epic endings, one follows on nicely and the other hits you like a bat out of hell.. And shouldn’t be missed,

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Rating 8/10

 

 

R – Watch me when I kill, New York Ripper, Bird with Crystal Plumage
L – A-Z of Giallo, Italian Cinema, Crazy endings
A – My love affair with Giallo
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