Director: Adam Pfleghaar
Starring:Various USA. 1h 14m
This detailed insight into how we fit into the bigger scheme of things as one element of planet earth, starts as an engaging documentary that slowly unravels into strange conspiracy theories and outlandish ideas which seem to sell a bitter snake oil.
Film-maker Adam Pfleghaar has devised a collage of interviews and compiled meticulous research , and constructed an audio-visual meditation on the themes of how we, as a species are only a tiny cog in a giant wheel, seeing the bigger picture is alluring and understanding how far detached we are from nature if eye opening but the end result of In Search For Balance had me scratching my head working out how these guys cured diabetes but The method and technique doesn’t seem something marketable for the rest of the public
Continue reading In Search of Balance (2016)
Director: Marc Forster
Starring: Brad Pitt, .USA/UK. 1h 56m
For every great book there is a highly anticipated and terrible movie. Even the “good” movies fail to hit all of the high notes of a novel, but spending 2 hours watching one person’s perspective of something that might have taken you a week or month to read will never compare. At least World War Z was very open that it was never an attempt to “be” the book but just to give a flavour of one of the books ethos, but more importantly for studio this was going to be the biggest grossing movie with the best stars and have fancy graphics and the world was going to love it.
Continue reading World War Z (2013)
Director: Roger Corman
Starring:Ray Milland, Diana Van der Vlis, Harold J. Stone, John Hoyt, Don Rickles. USA. 1h 19m
This is easily one of my all time favourite sci fi movies, defiantly of the 60’s possibly in my top sci fi films of all time. It has a beautiful on point atmosphere of a retro American comic come to life and condensed into 1 hour and 20 minutes it keeps a busy pace with minimum fluff.
Dr James Xavier (Miland) is obsessed with taking mankind forwards scientifically, always looking for that miracle breakthrough he invents a new chemical, a drug which makes people see with X-Ray vision, excited about the possibilities and under threat of his funding being taken away he administers the drug to himself with dramatic effects. Through a series of unfortunate events he ends up on the run from the police but continues to develop the drug and probe it’s possibilities.
Continue reading X the Man with X Ray Eyes (1963)
Director: Jon Cunningham
Starring: Jason Carter, Garett Maggart, Jack Donner, Harrison Young, Jean St. James . USA. 1h 51m
Even if you’re going to make an indie/B-Movie, there’s no need to think small, this independent film is a good 2 hours long and just about manages to entertain for the entire time and is a decent run for first time director Jon Cunningham. Utilising the best from seasoned actor Jason Carter as his lead creature he tells a tale that plays with the idea of what a monster really is, leading to the wonderful tagline of…
Who is the monster, the undead creature of the night or the scientist experimenting on him? Continue reading Demon Under Glass (2002) Video
Director: Egor Abramenko~
Starring: Oksana Akinshina, Fyodor Bondarchuk, Pyotr Fyodorov, Anton Vasiliev .Russia . 1h 53m
There has always been this strange surreal nature to the epic ideas of Russian Science Fiction, be it art, animation, novella or cinema you’ll always find something so profound and lavish in the Russian culture of art. From the early Aelita (1924) to the genre defining Stalker (1979) Solaris (1972) and Visitor to Museum (1989) there’s a strong sense of new ideas and concepts so far out and esoteric it’s hard to take in but yet these films stand as testament to the ingenuity of Russian Cinematographers (using soviet brutalism and derelicts to their advantage) and Directors who work an orchestra of stunning and creepy visuals and wonderment.
Continue reading Спутник / Sputnik (2020)
Director: Peter Newbrook.
Starring. Robert Powell, Robert Stephens, Jane Lapotaire, Alex Scott, Ralph Arliss. USA. 1h 39m.
A moralistic story written with a heavy gothic horror backdrop by Christina and Laurence Beers has been cleverly adapted by Peter Newbrook in a pseudo Hammer Horror-esque style. In a large opulent mansion a brilliant Victorian scientist becomes obsessed with the idea of becoming immortal. Continue reading The Asphyx (1972/3)
Director: Jack Cardiff
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Tom Baker, Brad Harris, Julie Ege. UK. 1h 32m
I’d just like to give a heads up, that I mean no disrespect with my terminology in this review. I am utilizing a lot of the terminology used in the movie, purely to keep it synced.
This movie feels like a mashup between Andy Mulligans insane indie horror Blood (1973) and the early cult classic The Freaks (1932) by Tod Browning. Combining newfangled science fiction ideas with unthinkable genetic splicing with animals and plants. The film is spiced up with trippy psychedelics, a touch of nudity and fascinating stop motion visuals, and it makes for a very interesting psychotropic creature feature that has to be seen to be believed, and all from acclaimed academy awarding winning director Jack Cardiff who gave us such classics as The Red Shoes (1948) and Black Narcissus (1947). Continue reading Freakmaker / The Mutations (1970)
Director: Ewald André Dupont
Starring: Robert Shayne, Joyce Terry, Richard Crane, Doris Merrick, Beverly Garland, Tandra Quinn USA/Germany. 1h 18m
One of my movie weaknesses is vintage sci fi movies, I just adore the heroism and pure wonderment and moral dilemmas they still offer, the 50’s were a golden age for the beginning of big scale science fiction, from mad scientists to space exploration, monsters and space exploration. Things might not really work how they were depicted, the same generation who were sure radioactive insect bites would only enhance a man also encouraged their kids to smoke, but sci fi wouldn’t really be sci fi without a level of taking things too far and being outlandish.
The Neanderthal man is a prime example of a down trodden scientist who pushes the envelope and takes things to the extreme The mockery of a brilliant scientist Prof. Clifford Groves (Shayne) by his peers, pushes him to the dangerous edge of self exploration, after being publicly ridiculed the professor continues his feverish work to prove that our cells remember their prehistoric past and turns himself into a Neanderthal man, his cat into a Sabretooth and his housekeeper into some scary beastly wild woman. The trio have little recollection of their primal actions and terrorise the wildlife and residents of their small town. Continue reading The Neanderthal Man (1953)
Director: Philip Gelatt.
Starring. William Jackson Harper, Rebecca Henderson USA. 1h 42m.
Based on: They Remain by Laird Barron.
Exploration is the focus of this psychological sci fi thriller, but the execution is as conflicting as the main characters grasp on reality and eventually the slow burning just fizzles out after several meandering mistakes which were supposed to build tension. They Remain explores a relationship of two scientists , Keith (Harper) and Jessica (Henderson) who are employed to investigate an area which was once a camp for a mysterious cult. It’s not very clear what they are doing for a long stretch of the movie, the two seem to have bizarre conversations while looking at camera feeds and “researching”, apparently sent by a mysterious corporation identifies by it’s geometric corporate logo and no more.
Continue reading They Remain (2017)
Director: Tim Grabham, Jasper Sharp
Starring: Slime Mould, Mark Pragnell, Tim Boon, Heather Barnett, UK 1h 21m
This full length documentary is a striking creature feature detailing the exploration of a common yet wildly unseen mould, now seen through the eyes of scientist, mycologists and artists who have invested huge amounts of time in studying the unusual plasmodial slime mould. Starting with the history and covering the amateur scientist who identified and documented it’s existence, the film gives insights into Victorian scientific methods and how slides were incorporated as evening entertainment. In modern times things are a little bit more unconventional and verges on science fiction as the seemingly inert plant controls a basic robot around a workshop floor, it’s predatory habits can be used to help people find water or a fire exit quicker and it’s motion and design influences visual and audible art. Continue reading Creeping Garden (2014)