Adrift

Adrift (2018)

Adrift first published by Little White Lies Based on a real-life story from 1983, Adrift opens in medias res, in the middle of the ocean, and in the middle of a nightmare. After blurry, barely visible images of a ship’s detritus and a human figure sinking through dark waters, 23-year-old Tami Oldham (Shailene Woodley) awakens,…

Resolution

Resolution (2012)

Resolution first published by Little White Lies, as the 60th entry in my Cinema Psychotronicum column Resolution comes with the strong sense of an ending. In fact, this is true right from its title, which points towards the notion of narrative complications resolved with a satisfactory dénouement – even as it simultaneously alludes, through a play on words, to the relative clarity of mediated images. In fact the film opens…

Quiet

The Quiet Earth (1985)

The Quiet Earth first published by Little White Lies, as the 60th entry in my Cinema Psychotronicum column For much of the duration of Geoff Murphy’s The Quiet Earth, middle-aged Zac Hobson (Bruno Lawrence) believes himself to be the last living person on Earth – but Zac was already a loner, even before the so-called…

Thousand

A Thousand & One Nights (1969)/Cleopatra (1970)

A Thousand & One Nights (1969)/Cleopatra (1970) first published by Little White Lies as the 59th entry of my Cinema Psychotronicum column Known variously as the father, godfather and god of manga, Osamu Tezuka revolutionised comic books in Japan with influential series like Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, Black Jack and Phoenix. In 1963…

Hellbound

Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

Hellbound: Hellraiser II first published by VODzilla.co “Was I right? Is it terrible?” This question, asked at the very centre of Tony Randel’s Hellbound: Hellraiser II, articulates the greatest anxiety that can be experienced about a sequel to a much beloved film. The original Hellraiser (1987), Clive Barker’s directorial debut adapted from his own 1986…

Loveless

Loveless (Nelyubov) (2017)

Loveless first published by VODzilla.co Loveless (Nelyubov) is a film of empty spaces and aching absences. It opens with various shots of a wintry riverside, all snow, still waters and dead trees – the audible chirping of birds being the only signs of life. We might as well be witnessing an apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic scene, but…

Stains

It Stains The Sands Red (2016)

It Stains The Sands Red first published by VODzilla.co “You really are a fucking train-wreck!” Nick (Merwin Mondesir) tells girlfriend-of-the-moment Molly (Brittany Allen) as they speed out of a smouldering Las Vegas. Perhaps it is the vodka that she is chugging or the cocaine that she is snorting in the passenger seat of his car…

Mirror

Mirror Mirror (1990)

Mirror Mirror first published by VODzilla.co “I want everything back to the way it was!” shouts teenager Nikki Chandler (Krisin Dattilo) near the end of Marina Sargenti’s Mirror Mirror. It is a typical adolescent cry, as a young person, confronted with her own changing self and resistant to the new responsibilities of adulthood, just wants…

Gelatt

Philip Gelatt on the Aesthetics of Frustration

Philip Gelatt, writer/director of They Remain, on the slipperiness of genre, the atmosphere of Kiyoshi Kurosawa and the aesthetics of frustration first published by SciFiNow Born in Wisconsin and resident in Brooklyn, Philip Gelatt is a comic book author and filmmaker who likes to take our expectations of genre and turn them on their head, creating a space in which the viewer can easily…

Dhogs

Dhogs (2017)

Dhogs first published by SciFiNow “You know what? There’s a cool way to pass time. We can play some game. What do you say? A little bit of night fun. Alright, I’ll go first. I spy with my little eye…” So says one man to another near the beginning of Dhogs, introducing its two key themes: game-playing, and…

Into the Dark: Down (2019)

From the start, we know that things are going to get very messy. An impressionistic montage shows a figure being scratched into a metal panel by the sharp tip of a corkscrew, water dripping all over a messy floor, a prone body, a flickering light, a smashed monitor screen, and fresh blood splattered over the…