Director: Lee Won-Tae .
Starring. Dong-seok Ma, Sung-kyu Kim, Mu-Yeol Kim. South Korea. 1h 50m.
One of my all time favourite genres in film is the South Korean Crime Thriller, They are filled with such slick plots, crazy bloody knife fights and inhuman bad guys, often thick with plots twists around organised crime, bent cops, serial killers and a strange honour code there’s a dark sharp violence in them which isn’t easily mimicked. I didn’t get too hyped about this until the second half but I have valid reasons. With a lot of Korean thrillers, there’s often an air of strangeness the crimes and methods of solving them are usually played out under sheets of rain at night, and usually the killer is really fucking derranged and hard to track, control or kill. But in this case they catch the guy but it’s not the end of the story it’s only the beginning. Continue reading 악인전; RR: Ak-in-jeon / The Gangster The Cop and the Devil (2019)
Director: Irvin Berwick.
Writer: John Buckley. Starring. Robert Gribbin, Russell Johnson, John Harmon, Randy Echols, Dorothy Bennett, Mary Ellen Christie USA. 1h 27m.
This is a strange concoction between Hitchcock’s Psycho and any generic sleazy 1970’s exploitation with hints of real life serial killer shenanigans, what a perfection mix of madness and murder! Most of the movie is as obsessed with Howard (Gribbin) as he is with his prey. For the most part Howard us a pleasant clean cut young man, he’s polite and dedicated to his mother and his job, which involves driving around picking up and dropping off people’s laundry but he’s a good Samaritan and will pick up lonely single women who are trying to hitch a ride. Depending on their reasoning for hitching, they might make it to their destination or they become the next victim of a one of his violent sexual tension and murderous rage. Continue reading Hitch Hike To Hell (1977)
Director: Brett Ratner
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes . USA. 2h 4m
There comes a time when every movie is going to be remade, no matter how cult or classic the original is. But did we really need this remake of the near perfect Michael Mann gusty thriller Manhunter (1986), Originally Brian Cox played the flesh eating doctor, but while his take on the now iconic doctor; is different from Hopkins laid back soft talker, Cox’s interpretation is very apt for the direction of Mann’s psychological dog fighting style. Is the Hopkins trademark on the character so powerful that he gets to shoulder his way through to complete his trilogy. Well, Dino De Laurentiis, producer of both Manhunter and Red Dragon and effectively the Lecter copyright holder, has decreed it. So Anthony Hopkins returns, for the final time, because after this he vowed never to play the role again and it’s not surprising as the task was given to Brett Ratner to facilitate, a director who can handle a fast paced popcorn action flick but really struggled with this type of deep psychological and powerfully cerebral thriller. If only this was an equally horrific sentimental comedy, like The Family Man, where Ratner would feel more at home. Continue reading Red Dragon (2002)
AKA The Washington Snipers
Director: D Alexander Moors
Starring: Isaiah Washington, Tequan Richmond, Rim Blake Nelson. USA. 1h 34m
A deeply atmospheric and emotive recount of the strange relationship between the unique pair of individuals who basically brought Washington to its knees in 2002. John (Washington)and his “adopted” Antigen son Lee (Richmond), are brought together out of love and necessity, but soon their turbulent relationship became needed and cold violence. A highly provocative insight into the killers from D Alexandre Moors, his first full length feature, shows incredible talent. Later on he was able to display further capabilities is his more appreciated project Yellow Birds (2017).
John is a highly strung individual, moving from sofa to sofa, from friend to favour as he rages at the world around him, hooking up with a protective friend he manages to tutor his new son in a military fashion, their daily lives are a mix of regimental and relaxing with friends, cook outs and sniper training. Continue reading Blue Caprice (2013)
Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky.
Starring. Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde, Charlie Hunnam, Kate Mara, Treat Williams, Kris Kristofferson, Sissy Spacek. USA/Canada. 1h 35m.
Children change everything, but asshole parents and terrible family relations are the driving force of this strange thriller. Everything about the opening suggests that this is going to be a cold heartless chase to the death, that can only get grittier and more dangerous but each step of the way but each step towards this badass edge is followed by some daddy issue drama until family relations eventually kills the fun completely.
Eric Bana plays Addison a wild eye psychopath on a mission to get across the border to Canada, his beloved sister is making a similar route but the choice to split up is a necessity and for her protection. Despite his quick trigger finger Addison does have a strange moral compass which does sometimes sway in favour of protecting women but this soft approach doesn’t reduce his kill count by much. Continue reading Deadfall (2012)
Director: Fatih Akin
Starring: Jonas Dassler, Margarete Tiesel, Katja Studt .Germany. 1h 50m
Based upon the novel of the same title, written by the author Heinz Strunk and published in 2016.
Unlike a ton of American productions about Serial Killers which feels the need to pick at the upbringing and give a reason for the erratic behaviour, there’s a ton of grotty mess throughout this pretty accurate retelling of the crimes of a notoriously bad character who eventually killed 4 part time prostitutes in a region of Hamburg in the late 70’s. Fritz Honka has a troubled life from a youngster but the film opens with the discarding of his first corpse, one that would alter the police but not much else would come from his nightly escapade of desperate sex and murder.
Honka is played by a pretty attractive and young German actor, Jonas Dassler who works his ass off to play this misaligned and deformed character with the use of some marvelous method acting and special effects he really does a lot to mimic the grimy nutcase. The film plays out the four year span where Honka did most of his killing, there’s some elaborations and artistic licence with story, with the inclusion of a young teen couple who are trying to be adults in and around the red light district, they story dips in and out giving Honka some wank material and moves the plot along when it begins to flounder. Continue reading Der Goldene Handschuh / The Golden Glove (2019)
Director:Nick Searcy .
Starring. Earl Billings, Dean Cain Sarah Jane Morris, Michael Beach, Nick Searcy USA . 1h 33m.
When I saw a movie claiming to be about the most prolific killer in America and with a name I didn’t recognise I had to sit down and ponder if I had lost all of my Serial Killer Groupie points.. The story of Dr Kermit Gosnell was something that cropped up but not something I had really ranked in my personal Murderpedia so I allowed myself to go into this blindly and see what I can learn from this TV movie production that claims to be about the trial but hardly sees a courtroom. Continue reading Gosnell: The Trial of Americas Biggest Serial Killer (2018)
Director: Robert Green Hall.
Starring. Nick Principle, Mimi Michaels, Danielle Harris, Owain Yeoman, Thomas Dekker, Brian Suatin Green. USA. 1h 33m.
After the pretty dismal and tiresome start to Laid to Rest (2009), the film eventually grew on me, slowly creeping up like a Carolina Reaper, to deliver some pretty amazing b movie results. As an introduction to Chromeskull, a lone slasher type figure who kills and tortures for his own amusement, it stands as a very good set up for a series of movies. Unfortunately all the good was rapidly undone but an abysmal sequel.
Chromeskull does a great job of picking up right where the first movie finished, the survivors ride off into the distance but the game changer is that Chromeskull isn’t a deranged lone ranger like we were led to believe, he has a clean up crew, a highly strung apprentice and a personal assistant back in his “base of operations” it seems as if the attempt to explain the clean up process for the chilling Chromeskull actually makes the movie less plausible and for me ruined the mystery. Continue reading Chromeskull : Laid to Rest 2 (2011)
AKA Natural Selection
Director: Mark Lambert Bristol.
Starring. David Carradine, Darren E Burrows, Michael Bowen, Joe Unger USA. 1h 31m
The offbeat style of this movie is incredibly alluring, as a possessive and unhinged FBI detective (Carradine) is tracking down a deranged psychopath but he might have bigger demons than the killer!? Eventually the story morphs into something very different as regular cop gets involved and the film takes on a documentary style, but despite being blasted from all directions this highly strange movie was on a duo disc with Satan’s Little Helper (2004) and if you’ve seen and enjoyed that, then there’s a chance you’ll get into this too.
Carradine’s character, Louis Dehoven, is brilliant, and possibly a requisite of his actual mentality at the time, but the Special Agent is tormented by demons who give him insights when he performs rituals with corpses and through self flagellation he gets clues for his case, there’s no real solid evidence that he’s anyway connected with the FBI as he claims but he’s certainly out for the killer. Continue reading Killer X (1999)
Director: Tarsem Singh.
Starring. Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn, Vincent D’Onofrio, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Jake Weber, Dylan Baker. USA. 1h 47m.
I missed the boat on this visual adventure I don’t feel too hard done by but I think if I had watched this 19 years ago then I might have got more of a wow out of the visuals but I’m sure I’d agree with myself that the story was a little weak. But what we didn’t know back then is that Tarsem Singh was only now beginning his his filmography of stunning but needful movies.
I got duped into seeing Anaconda (1997) and I’ll never trust J Low again, actually I didn’t watch her in anything until she acted alongside Viola Davis in Lila and Eve (2015) and I only watched it to see Viola do awesome shit.. but I was looking for visually stunning movies and it got mentioned, a lot, I knew that it involved some amazing costumes by Eiko Ishioka but I’m a sucker for a good story FIRST and stunning visuals to follow . This was a very lavish attempt at an insight into a killers mind while fueled up on bright dresses but also fell short at times usually when out of the dream world, the back up story just add up. Sadly it I was left feeling that this was just a poor rip off of Silence of the Lambs (1991) with an emphasis on style rather than substance, and masochistic imagery. Continue reading The Cell (2000)