The Taking Of Deborah Logan (2014) review

The Taking Of Deborah Logan posterDirector: Adam Robitel

Starring: Jill Larson, Anne Ramsay, Michelle Ang, Ryan Cutrona

“I’m not interested in being exploited.” (Deborah, The Taking Of Deborah Logan)

It’s all well and good watching and writing about horror movies but there are some real-life horrors that are often far more terrifying than any creature that could be dreamed up by Hollywood.

A powerful example is Alzheimer’s disease, a horrendous condition that slowly eats away at the sufferer’s brain, initially inflicting short-term memory loss and ending with behavioural issues, an inability to recognise family members and ultimately early death.

This is a disease that can tear apart families and turn previously docile people into aggressive, sometimes violent shells of their former selves. As horrible as it is to say it, then, it’s a condition ripe for study in horror film.

It’s the central theme, at least initially, surrounding The Taking Of Deborah Logan, a found-footage style mockumentary about a film crew studying a woman’s struggle with Alzheimer’s and their discovery of something even worse. Continue reading “The Taking Of Deborah Logan (2014) review”

The Tunnel (2011) review

The TunnelDirector: Carlo Ledesma

Starring: Bel Delia, Andy Rodoreda, Steve Davis, Luke Arnold

“We came down here to get a story, and now we’ve got an important one and you’re running scared?” (Natasha, The Tunnel)

Filmmaking can be an expensive business, even if you’re making a low-budget “found footage” effort in the style of The Blair Witch Project. Rather than wining and dining investors to get them to fund their movie, the Australian chaps behind The Tunnel decided to try something different with their “130k Project”.

They worked out that at 24 frames a second their 90-minute movie would contain around 130,000 individual frames, so after setting up a teaser trailer on their site they asked film fans to buy frames for $1 each, meaning everyone who donated could say they “owned” a piece of the movie. Click on the poster to the right to see it bigger, and you’ll see that it’s made of the names of some of the film’s early contributors. It’s a clever idea, and one that got them the funding they needed (I bought five frames myself, and while the film’s out now there are still some left). It’s a good job they got their funding, too, because The Tunnel is a brilliant little film.

The Tunnel
Well, maybe if you weren’t with Vodafone then you might have a bloody signal

Sydney’s water supplies are running low so the government reveals plans to recover and recycle a shitload of water that’s been lying in a network of abandoned train tunnels since the war. Suddenly though they decide to scrap the idea, raising the curiosity of Natasha,  a TV journalist. The rumoured reason is that lots of homeless live in these tunnels and could create a problem, but Natasha isn’t convinced.

After interviewing a recently-surfaced homeless man who goes mental when the tunnel is mentioned, Natasha decides there’s more to this than meets the eye and gathers three more fellow journalists. The four of them head into the tunnels unauthorised to see if they can find out more, but they probably shouldn’t have bothered because there’s something in the tunnels, and it sure as shite isn’t a bunch of old homeless chaps. Continue reading “The Tunnel (2011) review”

Resurrecting The Street Walker (2009)

Director: Ozgur Uyanik

Starring: James Powell, Tom Shaw, Lorna Beckett

“I’m trying to make myself indispensable.” (James, Resurrecting The Street Walker)

The mockumentary has been done so many times now that it would take something pretty special to grab people’s attention these days (case in point, Troll Hunter). Resurrecting The Street Walker manages this on an incredibly low budget and left me very impressed with the results, despite it ultimately not being the zombie prostitute film I thought the title was promising.

James is a budding filmmaker who’s desperate to get into the industry. He becomes a runner at a small production company in London in the hope that his hard work will eventually get him noticed and eventually move him up the filmmaking ladder.

James demonstrates the best way to defend against a confrontational lamp

While sorting out the company’s archives one day, James comes across some reels of The Street Walker, a (fake) 1980s video nasty that was ultimately never finished when the cast and crew went AWOL. Sensing an opportunity to make a name for himself, James convinces his boss to let him film the remaining scenes of The Street Walker and release it as “the film that was never released”. Meanwhile, James’s mate Marcus, himself a filmmaker, starts a documentary following James as he starts work on his project.  Continue reading “Resurrecting The Street Walker (2009)”