Note

Death Note (2017)

Death Note first published by VODzilla.co Death comes to us all in the end, but the wait for the American version of Death Note has been particularly long and twisted. It started as a manga series, Desu Noto (2003-6), written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Yakeshi Obata. This was followed by an anime for television…

The Slayer (1982)

The Slayer first published by Little White Lies, as the 39th instalment of my Cinema Psychotronicum column Although the hermetic, circular events of Alain Resnais’ Last Year In Marienbad (1961) took place in and around a baroque château lost in time, Adolfo Bioy Casares’ 1940 SF novel The Invention of Morel, which inspired Alain Robbe-Grillet’s screenplay…

Psycho

Psycho II (1983)

Psycho II first published by Little Whte Lies, as the 38th entry in my Cinema Psychotronicum column “See,” Mary Samuels (Meg Tilly) reassures Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) after she has persuaded him to enter his mother’s bedroom in the house on the hill above the Bates Motel. “No ghosts.” It is 22 years since Norman was…

Turkey

Turkey Shoot (1982)

Turkey Shoot first published by VODzilla.co There is a thrill in the human hunt. This was established by Irving Pichel and Ernest B. Schoedsack’s pre-Code The Most Dangerous Game (1932), whose title puns on different meanings of ‘game’ as a hunter tracks members of his own species for sport. In 1971 Peter Watkins took this premise…

L'Avventura

L’Avventura (1960)

L’Avventura first published by Film4 Synopsis: When a woman goes missing, the ensuing search brings her fiancé and her best friend together. Michelangelo Antonioni’s breakout film is a modernist classic about the dangers of modernism. Review: In 1960, the Italian New Wave well and truly arrived on foreign shores, thanks to two thematically similar but stylistically different…

Dolce

La Dolce Vita (1960)

La Dolce Vita first published by Movie Gazette  The picaresque antihero of La Dolce Vita, Fellini’s bittersweet portrait of the ‘good life’ in sixties Rome, is Marcello (Marcello Mastroiani), an intellectual who has given up serious writing to become a society journalist for a right-wing tabloid. His loving fiancée Emma (Yvonne Furneaux) wants to make a…

Riki

Riki-oh: The Story of Ricky (1991)

Riki-oh: The Story of Ricky first published by Movie Gazette – here in a longer, expanded version There was a notorious scene in First Blood (1982) when Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo established his tough-guy credentials by stitching up his own arm wound. The hero of Riki-oh: The Story of Ricky, whose name is not so far from another…

Kuso

Kuso (2017)

Kuso first published by VODzilla.co “Holy shit!” “I fucking hate this movie.” “What? Nigga, eat ass! This is art!” “This is garbage! Art is garbage!” A woman (Bethany Schmitt) – referred to in the credits as ‘the Buttress’ – smokes up on her sofa as she watches TV, and is emphatically unimpressed by what she sees…

68

68 Kill (2017)

68 Kill first published by SciFiNow Adapted from Bryan Smith’s 2013 novel of the same name, Trent Haaga’s 68 Kill opens with the image of a fly trapped in honey, followed by the sight of Chip (Matthew Gray Gubler) transfixed with adoration as he watches his girlfriend Liza (AnnaLynne McCord) sleeping by his side. The suggestion…

Better

Better Watch Out (2017)

Better Watch Out first published by SciFiNow Better Watch Out (aka Safe Neighborhood) opens with a medium close-up of a grinning snowman. The scene is typical American Christmas-time suburbia: families out in the cold, kids making snow angels and playing with sleds. Yet as Joy to the World plays on the soundtrack, there is also cruelty:…

Replace

Replace (2017)

Replace first published by SciFiNow Young Kira Mabon (Rebecca Forsythe) and Jonas Swierczynski (Sean Knopp) are on their fifth date, and Kira has decided to spend the night with him. On their way to Jonas’ apartment for the first time together, with their whole future ahead of them, they banter about the different ways that ageing men…