Director: Babak Anvari .
Starring. Armie Hammer, Dakota Johnson, Zazie Beetz. USA. 1h 34m.
This strange and dutifully tragic movie owes a lot to Cronenberg and H.P Lovecraft despite opening with a quote from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, that ends with “it echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core”. It’s hard to recognise the significance at this early stage of the movie but recalling back to the character it’s now easy to see how the main characters overall weakness as a human being made him so vulnerable for the nightmare that is about to unfold before his eyes. Continue reading Wounds (2019)
Director: Fritz Böhm.
Starring: Bel Powley ,Brad Dourif, Collin Kelly-Sordelet, James LeGros, Liv Tyler. USA. 1h 32m.
Strangely this movie reminds me of Teen Wolf (1985), in a roundabout way it’s very much a coming of age Werewolf movie and yet speaks poetic volumes for a reawakening of feminity for anyone who feels a call for the wild.
Anna (Powley) grows up confined in a room in a remote house in the woods, looked after by her Daddy (Dourif) who is keeping her safe from the Wildlings, strange creatures with folklorish natures who stalk the woods. As Anna matures she starts noticing differences, as many girls do, although a dreaded fear sets in to her Daddy and he starts injecting her in the stomach with an unknown substance (although if I learnt anything from Ginger Snaps (2000) then this is a Wolfsbane concoction). This only slows down her development but doesn’t stop it, eventually it leads to Daddy attempting to commit suicide but it goes drastically wrong and Anna is rescued by mild and ever caring Sheriff Ellen Cooper (Tyler) while the authorities are trying to work out what do to Ellen adopts the girl temporarily and tries to give her a normal life. Ellen’s younger brother Ray (Kelly-Sordelet) is a similar age to Anna and tried to help out, but by the time the pair are ready to go to Anna’s first house party, the teen, without her miracle drug is starting to transform again, her human teeth are being pushed out by something much sharper but the only person who has some insight and who is willing to help her comes in the guise of a one eyed man wearing a wolf skin who lives in the forests surrounding the town played by the multi talented James LeGros . Continue reading The Wildling (2018)
Director: Tom Shankland
Starring: Stellan Skarsgard, Melissa George, Selma Blair, Tom Hardy. USA. 1h
With the rise in popularity of the Saw Franchise, there were bound to be some copy cats, but this one stood out from the rest, not only did it have an impossible name but it’s based on a real equation, one that is found carved into the bodies of the victims. The serial killer at work here is obsessed with mathematical equations and revenge.
The two cops on the killers tail are the craggy Eddie Argo (Skarsgard) and his new rookie partner Helen Westcott (George) who’s quite fragile and not really up to the job but is determined to make it work.
The two are pretty clueless as to what they are up against at first but they soon start to unravel the equation (wΔz = Cov (w,z) = βwzVz) with some help from a drug addicted Denis Penis, who helps explain that it translates to “kill your loved one or be killed”, and ever so slowly they also piece together the dark secret that sparked the killings via confident of Eddie, a young informer that he pays special attention to. Continue reading WΔZ / Double u delta zee / The Killing Game (2007)
Director: Anthoy Hickox
Starring: Zach Galligan, Alexander Godnov, Monkia Schnarre, Martin Kemp, Bruce Campbell . USA . 1h 44m
After the impressive Waxworks(1988) Anthony Hickox spoilt his loyal fans with a sequel only 4 years after the original, possible in an era when fans were honoured with such things rather than waiting a lifetime for nothing. It’s very typical for Hickox’s trademark horror lightly dusted with black comedy, evil henchmen drenched in black with lots of hints of magic and a bizarre array of special effects and fantasy.
The final scene of Waxworks has been re-enacted and the film flows on seamlessly from here. Although it’s a little scattered and less formed than the original where we saw a group of wayward teens visit an enchanted waxworks exhibition and its freakish staff. They one by one get seduced into a display and find themselves thrust into the fantasy world that it depicted. While this is rife in this comedic sequel, it has a very different atmosphere to it, nothing is really taken seriously here, and after all we’ve seen it all before with the original and it seems that Hickox was just out for a lark with this one. He does make the most of the original set up, so the film is presented in different segments each with a very unique feel and theme. Continue reading Waxworks II – Lost in Time (1992)
Director: Anthony Hickox
Starring: Zach Galligan, Deborah Foreman, David Warner, Michelle Johnson, Patrick Macnee, Dana Ashbrook, John Rhys-Davies . USA . 1h 35m
The 80’s was a decade of goofy horror, obviously there were some real shockers out there which really upped the ante and changed the game forever but I feel that the number of cheesy comedy horrors was possibly at an all time high, but some were presented in a way which really captured the hearts of horror fans and like this, made themselves into the cult classic year book. Waxworks have always thrilled and entertained but in this epic terror things get more creepy than usual when a mysterious exhibit appears from nowhere with a staff of misfits at its helm. Continue reading Waxworks (1988)
Director: Eric Freiser
Starring: Bruce Payne, Ashley Laurence, Boti Bliss, Angel Boris, Paul Francis, Rick Hearst, Jan Schweiterman . USA . 1h 34m
I only discovered there was a third installment of Warlock about 10 years after it had been released, maybe because it was a direct to DVD release or possibly because no one was talking about it, cos it just wasn’t up to par with the first two films.
You can tell when a film has no budget as the sets and locations shrink down to a minimum, and this one house film is incredibly dull and quite boring.
Seemingly inspired by the now cult classic Warlock theme, an enchanted and highly determined Warlock who travels through time to be reborn and usher in the new beginning by raising Satan, originally the films see the Warlock travelling the world getting into all kinds of hijinx, tricking and slaughtering as he goes, but it’s down theatrics now… Continue reading Warlock III : End of Innocence (1999)
Director: Anthony Hickox
Starring: Julian Sands, Paula Marshall, Chris Young, R G Armstrong . USA . 1h 38m
Warlock (1988) was an amazing film, with a host of rich histories and wonderful effects which became the dawn of a gripping new evil villain with charm and tons of sex appeal; while this film really broke the horror fantasy world apart, it’s sequel, while being a bit more soppy and sentimental, did deliver some gruesome body horror for it’s delightful bad guy, acted by the amazing Julian Sands but without a fiesty hero originally played by Richard E Grant, the film lost some of it’s edge for a more whimsical teen duo who think they can outsmart the Warlock.
The original Warlock film started in the dark ages in Britain, but the keyword for Warlock 2 is Druids and magical stones, an aspect which would make most horrors laughable but Hickox managed to rein back the wands and fairy dust for a touch of the macabre. Continue reading Warlock 2 – the Armageddon (1993)
Director: Steve Miner
Starring: Julian Sands, Lori Singer, Richard E Grant . USA . 1h 43m
The beauty about Warlock is the links to folklore and the sharp dressed bas ass warlock played by Julian Sands and the uber charismatic Richard E Grant as the hunter. Both Brits have amazing screen presence but were able to empower their own characters while not overshadowing each other.
David Twohy has first conceived a story about a witch being persecuted during the crazed 17th Century and was seeking revenge but the film developed into some more sinister as the writing progressed, instead of take down and revenge, we just have a evil mastermind obsessed with releasing Satan onto the earth. Continue reading Warlock (1989)
Director: Franco Prosperi.
Starring: Lorraine De Selle, Ugo Bologna, John Stacy, John Aldrich Stefania,Pinna Italy/Germany. 1h 32m.
A short while ago the Amazon delivery guy brought two films to my door, on a chilly winter morning, Wild Beasts and ROAR! I had hope for a double bill of amazing creature features and I got it.. I started the duo with this gem from the 80’s which like Roar (1981) involved the use of many large wild animals, undergoing a wild night in the city.
Half horror and half “let’s think about what we’re doing to the environment” movie, it’s scattered with gruesome animal attacks as well as highlighting ecological issues. But it’s just a normal day at the zoo when a beautiful photographer Laura Schwarz (De Selle) arrives to take some photos at the local zoo, she’s introduced to the various lives of a range of animals and procedures in the zoo, while the animals seem to be going about their normal day to day lives there are some concerns that they are “off their food”. Wrapping things up the photographer gets the cold shoulder from her young daughter who she rarely see’s day to day and is experiences abandonment issues. While the brilliant zoologist Ruper Berner ( Aldrich) retreats to his home for a shower.. Continue reading Belve Feroci (Savage Beasts) / The Wild Beasts (1984)
Director: The Spierig Brothers
Starring: Helen Mirren, Jason Clarke, Sarah Snook, Eamon Farren . USA . 1h 39m
The mysteries of the Winchester house have been documented for years and while this movie is based on the facts of a true story it manages to make something mysterious and creepy very mundane and pointless experiment.
The widow of William Wirt Winchester, Sarah (Mirren) went into overdrive at the sudden death of her husband, trying several times to connect with him through spirituality she eventually started to make continuous alterations to their mansion in San Jose using the $20 million dollars inheritance and profits from the Winchester company.
Sarah’s not only working through her grief but she is feeling intense guilt for being part of the gum problem, her husbands guns were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and due to her erratic behaviour, the Winchester company send in a doctor to assess her sanity, Eric Price (Clarke) who’s a drug dependant doctor mourning the suicide of his wife, but he agrees to take on the job and becomes a resident at the home. Sarah is obviously weary of the man but as she’s totally sane, but just having to deal with spirits on a daily basis, she cleans up his act and allows him to proceed with his observations. Continue reading Winchester (2018)