A leather-clad feminist Martian lands in the Scottish highlands looking for a man to take back to Mars with her so he can impregnate the population. As you do.
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Eva Green, Ella Purnell, Samuel L Jackson, Terence Stamp, Chris O’Dowd
“Because our abilities don’t fit in the outside world, we live in places like this, where no-one can find us.” (Miss Peregrine, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children)
If you’ve read anything about Tim Burton’s latest film you’ll probably have seen countless comparisons to the X-Men movies, due to the fact it’s set in a school occupied with children with special powers.
But I’m not that lazy.
Instead, I hereby declare that Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is in fact Tim Burton’s version of The Raggy Dolls, the popular British ‘80s and ‘90s cartoon in which a group of wee dudes with abnormalities team up to fight crime or something.
(I don’t know if the Raggy Dolls actually fought crime, I didn’t really watch it. I just liked the theme tune.) Continue reading “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (2016) review”
Starring: Michael Gough, Patricia Roc, Ronald Howard
CAROL: “Spencer’s a lonely man I feel I can help, even if it’s only by letting him paint me. I don’t think I’m able to help my husband no matter how hard I try.”
MICHAEL: “I’m sorry darling. But you see, sometimes a man can sense an inner corruption in another man that is hidden from a woman by sentiment and sex.”
CAROL: “Inner corruption in another man! How do you know you’re not fighting it in yourself?”
Michael Gough was a legendary English actor who appeared in over 200 film roles over the course of nearly 60 years.
Perhaps best known to modern and international audiences as Alfred in all four 1990s Batman films, Gough had been a star of British stage and screen for decades before this.
The House In The Woods is one of his earlier roles, and though it’s more or less been forgotten over time it’s still a decent example of his ability to drive a film with his performance. Continue reading “The House In The Woods (1957) review”
Starring: Kim Director, Jeffrey Donovan, Erica Leerhsen, Tristine Skyler, Stephen Barker Turner
JEFF – “If you don’t believe in the Blair Witch then why the hell did you come along?”
KIM – “I thought the movie was cool.”
After The Blair Witch Project sold out cinemas and soiled boxer shorts around the world, a sequel was quickly greenlit to capitalise on its massive success.
There was one hefty problem, though. Part of what made the first film so successful was the fact it came out of nowhere.
Here was this film about young filmmakers who had gone into the woods and disappeared, and crucially it had this found-footage style that made many cinemagoers question whether what they were seeing was actually fiction.
Realising (perhaps wisely) that lightning probably couldn’t strike twice in the same place, director Joe Berlinger and the rest of the Blair Witch 2 crew instead decided to ditch everything that made the first film a success and go in a completely different direction. Continue reading “Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000) review”
Ingredients: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Edward Norton, Salma Hayek, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Paul Rudd, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Bill Hader
“We’re the non-perishables, motherfucker.” (Mr Grits, Sausage Party)
Take one hot dog sausage (Rogen) and one hot dog bun (Wiig), destined to be together but forced to sit separate from each other in their packaging prisons on a supermarket shelf.
Pre-heat a premise about a promised land said to lie outside the supermarket’s doors, one in which any foods chosen by ‘the gods’ (humans) will get everything they desire. Keep this premise simmering throughout, regularly adding religious nods to taste.
Add a sub-plot involving two more sausages (Cera and Hill) who find themselves chosen for the promised land but quickly discover that the food paradise they expected is actually a kitchen-based massacre of biblical proportions. Continue reading “Sausage Party (2016) review”
Writer / Composer / Cinematographer / Casting Agent / Sound Effects Editor / Special Effects: Mark Hicks
Starring: Mark Hicks, John McCuin, Jennifer Hamill
“Qava! I want you to start rounding up all of the Laffrodites off the Boulevards en masse! They will become infamous in the Maximus.” (Polpox, Actium Maximus)
Many amateur filmmakers dream of making the next underground smash, the next low-budget gem that does a Night Of The Living Dead or Clerks and emerges from obscurity to take over the world.
Mark Hicks, who is seemingly some sort of real life Garth Merenghi figure, clearly had this goal in mind when he wrote, directed and acted in Actium Maximus. Unfortunately, during this process he failed to notice his complete lack of writing, directing and acting ability. Continue reading “Actium Maximus: War Of The Alien Dinosaurs (2005) review”
Starring: Chris Klein, LL Cool J, Jean Reno, Rebecca Romijn, Naveen Andrews
“ROLLERBALL!” (Paul Heyman, Rollerball)
As I wrote in my recent review, the original 1975 version of Rollerball is a fantastic, prescient commentary on the way massive corporations suffocate society.
It’s also a superb action movie, with plenty of high-paced and violent sequences with rollerskates, motorbikes, fists and feet flying all over the place.
What a difference 27 years makes, then, because the 2002 remake is one of the biggest piles of vapid cockwash ever committed to celluloid. Continue reading “Rollerball (2002) review”
Starring: James Caan, John Houseman, Maud Adams, John Beck, Moses Gunn
“Corporate society takes care of everything. And all it asks of anyone, all it’s ever asked of anyone ever, is not to interfere with management decisions.” (Mr Bartholomew, Rollerball)
The best futuristic movies are those grounded in reality, the ones that aren’t just flying cars and laser guns but actually feel like they really could happen in the years to come.
Although some elements of Rollerball may not fall under this category – I don’t see a sport in which deaths are considered acceptable coming any time soon – so much of it feels remarkably spot on 40 years after its release. Continue reading “Rollerball (1975) review”
Starring: William Ragsdale, Chris Sarandon, Amanda Bearse, Roddy McDowall, Stephen Geoffreys, Jonathan Stark, Dorothy Fielding
“I have just been fired because nobody wants to see vampire killers anymore, or vampires either. Apparently all they want to see are demented madmen running around in ski masks, hacking up young virgins.” (Peter Vincent, Fright Night)
The classic Dracula films aside, my favourite vampire movies are the ones set in the present day, taking an ancient monster thats often hundreds of years old and putting them in a modern setting.
No, I’m not talking about that. You wash your mouth out.
I’m talking about stuff like The Lost Boys, Near Dark and Vampire In Brooklyn. Okay, not that last one either.
The point I’m struggling to make here is that Fright Night is great. Well, that could have gone better. Continue reading “Fright Night (1985) review”
Starring: Mariangela Giordano, Roberto Caporali, Gianluigi Chirizzi, Karin Well, Antonella Antinori, Simone Mattioli, Peter Bark
Also known as: Le Notti Del Terrore (The Nights Of Terror), The Zombie Dead
“Mother, this cloth smells of death.” (Michael, Burial Ground)
When you ask someone to name some old zombie movies, the usual suspects inevitably pop up.
Then you may get the occasional Return Of The Living Dead, or – if the person you’re asking knows their video nasty history – Zombie Flesh Eaters.
This is all perfectly understandable, mind – all five of the above are fantastic films – but there are plenty of excellent old zombie movies that, for some reason, never quite reached that same level of universal notoriety and acclaim.
One of the finest examples is Burial Ground, or The Night Of Terrors to give it its original Italian title. Continue reading “Burial Ground (1981) review”
Starring: Jon Mikl Thor, Teresa Simpson, Jim Cirile, Jillian Peri, David Lane, Denise Dicandia, Frank Dietz, Liane Abel, Adam Fried
Also known as: The Edge Of Hell
“You killed no one, Bub. Or is it less familiar to call you Beelzebub? Or do you prefer Abaddon? Or, as the Hindus called you, Shaitan? Or, as you are known to answer to, Ahriman? Belial? Apollyon? Asmodeus? Because, you see… I do know you.” (John Triton, Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare)
Well, now. Where to begin.
If you aren’t aware of Jon Mikl Thor, his Wikipedia page describes him as “a bodybuilding champion, actor, songwriter, screenwriter, historian, vocalist and musician”.
Having now watched Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare, which was both written by Thor and starred him in the leading role, I’m almost tempted to edit that page and remove “actor” and “screenwriter”. Continue reading “Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare (1987) review”