Director: Various Starring: Various Worldwide. 1h m
Despite setting records on the Shudder platform, there’s a lot lacking from this instalment of the VHS series, however maybe there was a gap in the market, as this came out during the height of yet another lockdown! leaving it with reviews swaying from weak to the best of the series? Being a total marmite chapter lets me dive deep into it. The wrap-around for this anthology-found footage compilation follows a SWAT team stumbling on a sinister VHS cult and the underground compound, for all of the other wraps it’s one of the strangest as we don’t really see the team settling into the movies like the rest.
Director: John Schlesinger Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider. USA. 2h 5m
John Schlesinger’s classic thriller, Marathon Man is the type of genre movie that makes a few faux pa’s but through many bizarre plot choices, for the sake of keeping an audience on their toes, the movie generates a lot of massive plot holes but whether you mind them or not, you’ll still be blown away by the sterling acting and gripping story that plunges lead Thomas, better known as Babe (Hoffman), a simple inner city student, into unpredictable situations that make your teeth ache.. if you know you know..
Director: Ben Young Starring: Emma Booth, Ashleigh Cummings, Strephen Curry, Susie Porter. Australia. 1h 48m
This brutal film hits like a punch in the gut, it’s a slow drama but it gains power each step of the way. Youngs has a mixed bag of movies behind him and went onto to the sci fi thriller Extinction which was a side step in an odd direction, he needs to get back to the hard hitting drama as it’s something i’d does best.
Director: Mike Leigh Starring: Roy Kinnear, Maxine Peake, Neil Bell, Philip Jackson, Pearce Quigley, Neil Bell .UK. 2h 34m
Political riots just aren’t what they used to be, it seems like only yesterday innocent people were being shot with rubber bullets and tear gassed for arguing against the poll tax. WIth the Tories finally getting their wish to ban protesting it feels all that more poignant to remember our rights to speak out against matters we feel are unjust and wrong.
Director: Richard Billingham Starring: Patrick Romer, Richard Ashton, Justin Salinger, Ella Smith, Tony Way. UK. 1h 50m
This strangely hypnotic movie doesn’t really have a beginning, middle and an end, per say but there’s a strange introduction to characters, and they are very unusual creatures. Once you get over the initial shock of their squalid lives and attitudes the movie kinda meanders until a pivotal moment where everyone’s life changes, most notable the teller of the story, Richard, and his little brother Jason, who at one point would rather sleep rough than go home, but what would drive a child to do this?
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: Ryan Prows Starring:Nicki Micheaux, Ricardo Adam Zarate, Jon Oswald, Shaye Ogbonna, Santana Dempsey, Mark Burnham USA. 1h 36m
From the unusual opening and until it’s bitter ending, everything about Lowlife blew me away! It’s a slow amble through the seedy side of Los Angles, connecting 3 reprobate lives together as they struggle against the same foe but for very different reasons. For some it might take some time to get into the aesthetic and bat shit crazy characters, but don’t fight it just go with the flow and the movie will take you places…. Places you might not want to go..
Lowlife works as a disjointed homage to a few lively characters who each deserve some sort of Folk Hero status. Jumping around through the timeline incorporates each person deeper into it’s whirlwind plot, a black motel keeper Crystal (Micheaux) who’s an ex addict and her drunken partner, a man on the verge of giving up on life but who needs an emergency kidney transplant. Then there’s a sly gangster Teddy ‘Bear’ Haynes (Burnham) who runs a violent gang profiting from immigrants organs, the kinda guy who’s legendary amongst the worst f the worst on the streets and his loveable henchman ,El Monstruo (Zarate) who’s on a mission to protect his heavily pregnant wife Kaylee (also an addict). But the stand out are a couple of best friends Keith (Ogbonna) and Randy (Oswald) a couple of cons whose brotherly bond is spun into contention over Randy’s unusual prison tattoo.
Director: Lars von Trier Starring: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg . Denmark, Germany, Italy, France, Italy, Poland, Sweden. 1h 48m
This made a very interesting date night, a reconciliation with an ex and a movie filled with sexual violence and gnostic connotations, but in all honesty we both read that there were crazy genital mutilation scenes and being the sick twisted couple we were, we actually wanted to see this together, on top of this any film with Charlotte is usually a bit nutty and even with all this knowledge we were still a bit mystified and shocked at this dark and distinctively effective movie.
Director: Charlie Steeds Starring: Kate Davies-Speak, Mark McKirdy, Makenna Guyler .UK. 1h 18m
The opening of Mutants is a love letter to 70’s horror, it has a true retro feeling about it, chunky yellow fonts with a boombing synth soundtrack and fuzzy graphics, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is a re release of an older movie, as it’s so authentic rather than imitation, you’ll also be excused to wondering why the movie is called Mutants, it seems to exist with two titles, Mutants shown at the beginning and Barge People shown at the very end..
Director: Vidhu Vinod Chopra Starring: Vincent D’Onofrio, Anton Yelchin, Chris Marquette, María Valverde, Thomas Jane .USA. 1h 41m
A charming American Western style thriller centring around two brothers and the ties that bind them, Chopra has adapted 1980s Hindi movie for the American audience but it only vaguely translates for the different culture and atmosphere overall, the true sentiment of the movie really works however from time to time it just seems too melodramatic, something that would definitely work in the Bollywood industry but seems a bit too over the top for what could be a really violent thriller. Continue reading Broken Horses (2015)→