Director: Richard C. Sarafian.
Starring. Barry Newman, Cleavon Little, Dean Jagger USA. 1h 38m.
I have some vague recollections of watching this film as a kid, which prompted me to revisit many years ago and I totally fell in love with Kowalski his amphetamine fueled ride through the desert, in one of my all time favourite cars, a gorgeous Dodge Challenger RT 440 Magnum; taking grindhouse to the brink with some strong biblical and mythical undertones, accompanied over the radio by a blind messiah and awesome rock music, for me it’s the perfect combination. Most movie lovers will cite Steve McQueens Bullit (1968) as being one of the best car chase movies, and while I can’t disagree I think this film is brilliant contender for the top spot.
Everything about the film is under the surface, but on the face of things, it’s just a guy who’s hired to get a car from point a to point b in the quickest possible time, after visiting his dealer, he fills up on Benzedrine pills and makes a bet to be there a day sooner, hops in a Dodge and heads out on a daring adventure filled with pretty unusual characters. Continue reading Vanishing Point (1971)
Director:David Cronenberg .
Starring: James Woods, Debbie Harry, David Cronenberg, David Dvorsky, Leslie Carlson, Julie Khaner. Canada. 1h 29m.
Having watched Videodrome at quite a young age the film fascinated me for all the wrong reasons, pulsating VHS tapes, clips of dodgy torture rooms and people morphing into guns and machines really lit my young mind on fire, this was something that really carried on through my teens while lapping up underground comic books and really came to life when I discovered tales of the dark web and Tetsuo Iron Man (1989) which hit home this idea of bio mechanics along with my love of Giger’s artwork but nothing was quite on that level of bizarre as Videodrome, covering so many aspects of the darker side of the human psyche it’s science fiction body horror touches on some worrying habits and disgusting practices but all in such a way that it’s almost too clever for it’s own good.
James Woods takes centre stage as Max, as the CEO of a small UHF television station specialising in sensationalist programming he’s constantly displeased with his current line up which is mostly soft core, while looking for ways to boost the station, he stumbles on a bizarre broadcast featuring extreme violence and torture which he believes is staged and wants the show known as Videodrome for his station as he perceives it as something that everyone wants to see. While searching for the source of the broadcast, he employs his cameraman Harlan, to record the shows for him, eventually he deduces that the show is being transmitted from Malaysia, and soon Max orders that Harlan to broadcast the show unlicensed via his network. The more Max watches Videodrome the more he begins to hallucinates the world around him, mechanical items become soft and fluid, pulsating with life and breathing, but this is only the beginning. Continue reading Videodrome (1983)
Director: Sôichi Umezawa.
Starring. Kyôka Takeda , Momoka Sugimoto , Ena Fujita , Kanji Tsuda. Japan. 1h 21m.
I used to be blown away by Japanese horror, going through the Tartan Horror series with much glee as it was miles apart from the slowdown that was occurring with its Western counterpart. with the fresh of breath air that the creepy tales sprung upon me, eventually I started noticing a huge split between genuine Japanese Horror and that fringe area which incorporated their unique humor, gore, body horror and sprays of blood. After a while I let things run their course, on returning I was gobsmacked by the array of mundane items which the Japanese has found a way to make scary! Continue reading Chi o sû nendo / Vampire Clay (2017)
Director: Paco Plaza
Starring: Sandra Escanaba, Bruna Gonzalez, ana Torrent, Claudia Picer, Ivan Chavero, Carla Campra. Spain. 1h 46m
So much about Veronica is like all the other ouija, catholic demonic inspired movies although it does have a few quirks and charms which make it stand out, not as something inventive and new but something relatable.
Veronica and her best friend have planned secret ouija based seance to contact Veronica’s deceased father, their golden opportunity is when the entire catholic school will be on the roof and outside to watch an eclipse. There are are no awards to guess the rest of the movie, the ouija session goes terribly wrong and soon Veronica is the experiencing lots of paranormal activity around herself and home, but when this dark entity starts attacking her family, Veronica starts to research and does all she can to protect them.
Just because you close your eyes it doesn’t mean the world ceases to exist.
Plaza has found fame through a series of wholly gory Rec series which really broke through a new age of possession/zombie hybrids, and I believe like everyone else I was expecting the same from this movie which was initially billed as prequel. Continue reading Veronica (2017)
Director: Ted Nicolaou
Starring: Jonathan Morris, David Gunn, Kirsten Cerre. Romania 1h 32m
This film fits in between Subspecies 3 and 4 transitioning the story and cast from the original subspecies formulaic structure into something a little more .. a la Interview with a Vampire (1994). This slight detour from the excellent Subspecies series which featured the master vampire Radu and his tiny minions, the blood stone has been abandoned and the strange iconic atmosphere has been up scaled into something more gothic and misty. Continue reading Vampire Journals (1997)
Day 3 – The Void
Director: Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie .
Starring. Aaron Poole, USA. 1h 30m.
It’s not often a film grips my attention quite like this one. The first trailer I chanced upon was quiet mysterious and the poster had tentacles, that’s pretty much me sold on any movie. So the Void didn’t promise much, it kept 90% of the fun a secret and that added to the fun and intensity of the gory film. Starting with a curious scene a man escapes from some crazy occultist and flees into the woods, bleeding and disorientated. A lone cop sees him the road and takes him to the nearest hospital to get him patched up. The hospital is in the process of being relocated, so there is minimal staff and they are caring for one pregnant girl and packing, quite reminiscent of Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) and before you know it, they are soon surrounded by shrouded occultist and have to barricade themselves but unlike the 70’s siege film they are fighting unknown metaphysical forces that are beyond comprehension, yet very familiar to those lured tales from HP Lovecraft. Continue reading The Void (2016)
In this 1960’s folklore inspired horror fest, a young monk, Khoma; is tasked with saying prayers over the body of a beautiful maiden who is in fact a witch and she terrorising him each night, the tormenting intensifies until the last night where the showdown unleashed all the goblins and trolls the witch can muster and the novice monk has an epic show down and has to basically exorcise the witch. This show down is amazing and I feel that for these scene alone the film should be recognised by more people. Continue reading Favourite Scene – Viy (1967)
Director: Paul McGuigan.
Starring: James McAvoy, Daniel Radcliffe, Jessica Brown Findlay . UK/USA. 1h 50m.
Frankenstein steampunk extravaganza, with more attention paid to the look and feel than the characters and plausibility.
For some reason we’re meant to feel sorry for Victor Frankenstein as he’s often the forgotten part in this tragic story cue the violins bitches. Somehow the most iconic mad scientist is apparently a distant memory?? What the fuck? Anyway this film is supposed to rekindle our love for him, illuminate his persona and resurrect his memory, except it focuses in on igor… in this instance, Igor the deformed circus clown, later to become Igor (Ratcliffe) with the brain of a medical uni student, manages to cross paths with the hard done by Victor who recognises his medical talents when they rush to the rescue of Lorelei (Jessica Brown Findlay) the gorgeous acrobat and crush. Eventually the unloved intellectual clown is rescued from the circus and through a vile transformation turned from hunchback to gentlemen and given the identity of Igor, a useless student who’s supposed to be bunking with Victor. The two manage to reanimate some corpses and well we all know the story…
The movie draws on the modern fascination of Steampunk but then delivers on the mechanical sense of stunning visuals, detailed sets and costumes but shuffles around various ideas oh who Victor Frankenstein is without giving us the solid basis of a good story oh his character, instead it focuses in on Ratcliffs transformation I’m a romance between him and me acrobat, eventually in the latter half of the movie it remembers to chuck in a very brief scene and intro of Frankenstein’s monster and again whips us away on a different fantasy tale. Continue reading Victor Frankenstein (2015)
Director: Phil Joanou
Writer: Robert Ben Garant (screenplay)
Starring: Jessica Alba, Lily Rabe, Thomas Jane. USA. 1h 33m
This film can fucking do one! It’s one of those films that makes you start to lose faith and horror, it takes a perfectly amazing concept which is scary enough in itself then combines the tragic real life events of Jonestown Massacre the Applewhite/Heavens Gate incident but instead of maximizing on this disturbing topic that involves mass suicide, mind control the dangerous cult behaviors and paranoia, it ditches all of this to make a really lame and ever so tedious ghost story full of false jump scares, flash photography and everything that we would expect from a really cheaply made TV movie and somehow manages to muster ok actors Jessica Alba and Thomas Jane. Continue reading The Veil (2015)
Director: Robert Eggers.
Starring : Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Wahab Chaudhry. Canada. 1h 32m.
In this conscientious and terrifying horror, the age old concepts of witchcraft, magic and possession and brought together in this bleak forest folklore film. A family are exiled by the church and forced to scratch a living on the outskirts of an ominous forest where evil is believed to lurk. Strange and devastating things begin to happen. An infant goes missing, crops fail, and the livestock starts taking on strange personalities. The family are taken to the limits of their faith and sanity as they are starved and tormented on a daily basis, the mother (Kate Dickie) seems to become possessed by an evil spirit and suspicions fall upon the eldest daughter Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy) who is suspected to be a witch but denies the charges. As loyalties become frayed and each family member is tested in unforgettable ways, the true nature of the haunting becomes apparent but at what costs to his pious family!?
A New England Folktale
Continue reading The Witch (2015)