Dreams and nightmares are the fuel of most good horrors and thrillers. From antiquity to the modern novel and all the way through to cinema and videogames, it is a fertile ground to launch any kind of journey of uncertainty. In The Initiation, a dream is all main character Kelly Fairchild has to go on. Too bad someone is stalking her at the same time. Trailer (NSFW) and review after the jump.
Have you ever wanted a slasher movie where the drama is more important than the kills? Some nubile young people, a murdering nutter, a batpoop insane curse, hammy acting and more combine to make up the crazy Satan’s Blade, a film that prides itself with withholding just the twist and only the twist. Trailer and review after the break.
Emilio Miraglia is an Italian director who was most active in the 1970’s. He directed around six features (though he could have worked uncredited in more) and then vanished from the scene (literally). While he directed different genres, he’s most famous for two features: The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (La notte che Evelyn uscì dalla tomba) and The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (La dama rossa uccide sette volte). Trailers (NSFW!) and more after the break.
I love watching Italian Giallo films and after a few false starts, I got stuck into a proper Giallo film by a man who pretty much invented or helped to invent the genre as we know it today. Deep Red is a classic murder mystery with lashings of blood, violence and non-sequitur characters that lead you down one path and back up others told by a filmmaker who, at least in this project, knows exactly what he’s doing.
Lucio Fulci has many films to his credit that exemplify his talents as one of Italy’s foremost horror directors. Zombie Flesh Eaters, City of the Living Dead and The Beyond to name a few and those were his most celebrated but he had a career spanning three decades. A lot of his projects were deliberate choices, creative endeavours so The Black Cat might seem an odd choice for Fulci but between his directing style and the way the film turned out, I think it’s one of Fulci’s better films.
Woooow, this is a long time to review a film. Russian film Hard To Be A God came out on the 14th of September but I’m only posting the review now. Why the delay? Partly in the fact that the disc arrived a week after the release date and partly the subject matter. Ostensibly about a world not unlike our own, the film is a science fiction film without any outward trappings of the genre. I had never heard of the film, the director or the original story it is based on. Is this the best tactic to tackle such a nebulously plotted film? Let’s find out.
As I trawl through the Italian films of the 80’s, I’m reminded that when I was talking at one point to Oli (late of the Welcome to the Brain Palace podcast) about Italian giallo and zombie horror flicks, he kept saying two names: Mario Bava and Umberto Lenzi. I’ve not seen Bava’s works yet but I just watched my first Lenzi film. A total mess of a film, it’s so bad it’s good and more than makes up for its problems by not caring about them. Nightmare City, a film about zombies that drink blood but shush, Lenzi doesn’t like you calling them zombies, dammit!
I think I’ve been a fan of John Ford films longer than I’ve known who John Ford was. Basically, if you watched any of John Wayne’s Western output that is head and shoulders better than most, you probably seen a John Ford directed Wayne flick. While The Searchers will always be my favourite Ford Western, a few years ago in the (now) sadly missed Laser Video shop on George’s Street, I rented a movie that had two things that I’d never seen on a case before: ‘Starring Henry Fonda’ and ‘Directed by John Ford’. I’m a huge Fonda fan and John Ford is onto a God in my eyes so I paid my money and took a gander by my nickelodeon. Now, Arrow Film are back with a wonderful restoration of the film. Too liberal with the truth to be a biopic, too truthful to be fiction, the story of Old American West legend Wyatt Earp as only John Ford can tell it: My Darling Clementine.
In most cases, I wouldn’t bother with a review of a bonus disc which is part of a much larger release but in the case of Videodrome, the bonus disc merited it. Contained on the bonus disc is four of Cronenberg’s earlier films: Transfer, From The Drain, Stereo and Crimes of the Future. The first two really do fit into the term “short film” being only 7 and 13 minutes long respectfully. The last two are over an hour long each so they are long-form shorts, I guess? In any event, the films are a great way of gauging the evolution of Cronenberg as a storyteller. I’m just going to bullet point them from here on out.
I’ve never been a big David Cronenberg fan. I’ve seen some of his output but not all of it. That’s not to say I don’t like his films, I just wouldn’t call myself an expert. That said, Videodrome is the one that everyone talks about. More polished than Scanners, less commercial (ironic given its plot) than The Fly, the film represents, at least for me, the best of the Canadian filmmaker’s work.