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: 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?
Director: Anthony DiBlasi Starring: Juliana Harkavy, Natalie Victoria, J LaRose, Joshua Mikel. USA. 1h 30m
Just when you thought it was safe enough to guard an abandoned prison during the graveyard shift… There’s something about The Last Shift which really resonates with horror fanatics. A simple story which is the ultimate setting for a horror story is amped up with good old fashioned ghostly atmospherics and relies on practical effects, this is what the fans cry out for constantly and when it’s delivered it’s welcomed with open creepy arms!
Jessica (Harkavy) is left to her own devices while guarding a local empty and highly haunted prison during the night shift. and the night becomes a roller coaster of jump scares, poltergeist activity and moving family revelations.
Director: George Basha Starring: George Basha, Richard Green, Brian Eillson David Field, Franc Violi, Millie Rose Heywood, David Roberts. Australia. 1h 50m
While it doesn’t feel that there’s a shred of originality in this epic b-movie prison flick, there’s a lot of reports suggesting it’s based on a true story!? but i’m yet to verify these claims. Either way, fact or fiction won’t make it digest any easier. A harrowing story of a man who, through a one off accident ends up in prison for manslaughter. Unbeknownst to him there’s a hidden agenda which will see him fight a tougher sentence than any other inmate.
While his girl is being preyed on by strangers, Ray, a burly war veteran, steps in as a hero to defend her honor, the altercation ends in an accidental death. The father of the murdered bully makes a deal with the Prison Warden to make Rays stay unusually difficult. not that prison life isn’t hard enough. Rays struggles enough, working his way through cryptic prison politics, race wars, gang pressure, creepy showers and the occasional trip to the hole, but unlike Andy Dufranes he doesn’t have a guy who knows how to get things to ease his time inside.
Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel Starring: Moritz Bleibtreu, Justus von Dohnányi, Christian Berkel, Oliver Stokowski, Andrea Sawatzki. Germany. 1h 49m.
A powerful fact based taut drama, stemming from the events surrounding the now, notorious Stanford Prison Experiment from 1971, Hirschbiegel encapsulates a bitter trials from behind the lens so to speak, making it very German, very bold, daring to dig deep into the torture tactics and leaves no stone unturned, in the mess of the soulless personal hardships the occurred during this tragic social experiment.
Director: Benjamin Ree. Starring: Karl Bertil-Nordland, Barbora Kysilkova. Norway. 1h 42m.
From a selfish and despicable act of theft came a truly beautiful relationship erupts in Ree’s near perfect documentary that focuses on Czech artist Barbora Kysilkovaand a Norwegian career criminal, Karl-‘Bertil’ Nordland. This tale of forgiveness, obsession, friendship and love is what we need to see in this crazy climate where everyone seems to be lacking those tangible experiences, does it restore faith in humanity? It’s certainly a highlight of the simplistic Scandinavian ethos of rehabilitation.
Director: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia Starring: Iván Massagué, Zorion Eguileor, Antonia San Juan, Emilio Buale Coka, Alexandra Masangkay .Spain. 1h 34m
When we have the truth of our social or cultural climate thrown in our face in graphic ways it’s quite common for people to feel ashamed, disgusted or maybe intrigued by its complexity. Taking something which most are unable to comprehend or actively turning a blind eye too, and reinventing it, is threaded throughout this spectacular Spanish Sci Fi Thriller.The Platform is an incredibly busty portrayal of our current tragedy of the commons but this one is a touch harsher than the Allegory of the Long Spoons fable.
It’s a popular trend for movies made for a more astute audience to often hit the ground running, chucking it’s characters and audience into an odd situation and assuming that grey matter will get them through the fleshing out of the plot, this is so welcomed than a third of the movie being taking by the director hammering home what they want the audience to think. So after watching a Michelin style kitchen prepare perfect foods, Galder opens with the lead Goreng (Massague) waking up on a bunk, on a platform with a strange man who keeps saying obviously.. there should be a warning to buckle up because things are going to get strange, violent and incredibly deep. Continue reading El Hoyo / The Hole AKA The Platform (2019)→
Director: Don Dohler Starring: Don Leifert, Tom Griffith, Richard Dysz, Mary Mertens, Richard Geiwitz. USA. 1h 30m
Make no mistake there’s a deeper meaning behind this 16mm Quality Color movie, on the surface Dolher’s homemade sci fi adventure is simply about a small handful of rogue aliens that have landed on earth and intend on making some mischief, but by the end of this wintry escapade we’re left questioning who the real monsters are.
In a sleepy Baltimore down during mid winter, the biggest crisis was who was going to be nominated as the new mayor, but after a suspected meteor lands out in the woods, there’s a spate of unusual deaths. Before the town can really comprehend who or what is killing anyone who wanders out into the wilderness, a brilliant scientist is soon lending a hand and aiding the officials in the right direction of a possible downed UFO.
Director: David Mackenzie Starring: Jack O’Connell, Ben Mendelsohn, Rupert Friend .UK. 1h 43m
There is something very bold and solid about starred up the acting is on point the choreography of the violence is brilliant a dynamic but the special jenesequa is just how realistic the film is but this is probably due to the whole project being a brilliant screenplay written by a former corrections psychologist.
Brutal and Brilliant
Starred up beings as a story of a young man Eric Love (O’Connell) forcing his way up through the grimy underside of the prison world but this youngster is displaying way too much cunning and wit about him, he’s more than dangerous, he’s potentially deadly, hence why he’s starred up. Despite a lot of the rumours being Starred up has nothing to do with bumming or other sexual acts, it’s simply a teenager who is so out of control that they get set among adults to receive some “proper prison schooling”. Continue reading Starred Up (2013)→
Director:Ugezu J Ugezu . Starring. Bob Manuel Udokwu, Chioma Chukwuka, Ugezu J Ugezu, Uju Okoli . Nigeria. 5h 25m.
For Nollywood this is certainly one of my all time favourites and I believe the first full length one I saw back in 2016, I was a total noob but I fell in love with the genre and didn’t realise that the movies would be so long, like mini series, this 4 part epic (each episode over an hour) is a tale of woe and magical mystery.
So a loving and yet very strict businessman, named Silas played by Bob Manuel Udokwu, runs a thriving business, when he’s not running his corporation with an iron first, he’s loving his beautiful wife, Elizabeth (Chukuka) and their daughter, Elizabeth is heavily pregnant with their second child, this comes after a losing her previous baby, but with care and love they family have picked themselves up and are trying again.Continue reading The Sorrows of Elizabeth (2016)→