Gangland

Gangland (2016)

Gangland first published by RealCrime Magazine Channel 5 hosts many series devoted to Britain’s crime and ‘hard men’- but what distinguishes Paul Blake’s two-part Gangland is its genesis, and its unusual method of production (note that we have seen only the first part, Turf Wars).  Alarmed by the statistics on knife and gun deaths amongst young…

Unseen

The Unseen (2017)

The Unseen first published by Little White Lies Writer/director Gary Sinyor is best known for making comedy features (Leon the Pig Farmer; United We Fall), occasionally with a bit of high-concept fantasy thrown in (Solitaire for 2; In Your Dreams) – but The Unseen is his first foray into gothic, as its story veers ambiguously between…

WolfCop

Another WolfCop (2017)

Another WolfCop first published by SciFiNow “You’re a loser – it’s just a fact,” states ‘visionary business maverick’ Sydney Swallows (Yannick Bisson), at the beginning of Another WolfCop, looking directly into the camera as he films an ad spot to promote new product “Chicken Milk Stout”. Hawking beer to the low-rent citizens of smalltown Woodhaven, who…

Carrie

Carrie (1976)

Carrie fist published by Little White Lies, as entry 48 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column “Red. I might have known it would be red.” So says Margaret White – note the colour-coded surname – a sexually repressed religious zealot (played by Piper Laurie) under whose rigidly controlling single parentage teenaged Carrie (Sissy Spacek) has been brought…

Suspiria

Suspiria (1977)

Suspiria first published by Little White Lies, as entry 47 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column Suspiria begins with an arrival, and an entrance. Hoping to perfect her ballet studies at Europe’s most famous Dance Academy, American Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper) has just landed at the airport in Freiburg, Germany on a wet and windy night. As…

Takashi

Takashi Miike on making films at the margins.

“I’ve always been an outsider”: Takashi Miike on making films at the margins. First published by SciFiNow. Prolific barely begins to describe Takashi Miike, the bad boy of Japanese indie cinema. Few directors manage to amass over 100 films to their name, even fewer do so in just over a quarter of a century, and fewer…

Most

Most Beautiful Island (2017)

Most Beautiful Island first published by Little White Lies Most Beautiful Island opens with scenes of the morning pedestrian rush in New York. It is a series of crowd shots, each with a different woman at its centre. By the time the camera has settled on Luciana (the actress Ana Asensio, who is also debuting here…

Christmas

Christmas Evil (1980)

Christmas Evil first published by VODzilla.co The way for the slasher was paved in the Seventies by Italy’s stylised whodunnits (known as gialli) and by Bob Clark’s Black Christmas (1974), and the commercial success of John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) guaranteed imitators – but the tropes of this nascent subgenre would still take a few years to…

Souls

Dark Souls (Mørke sjeler) (2010)

Dark Souls first published by VODzilla.co Out for a jog in the woods, young Johanna Ravn (Johanna Gustavsson) is attacked by a Driller Killer (Kristian Holter) in an orange jumpsuit and surgical mask, and is left lying dead in the mud with a hole bored through her skull. Yet if this opening to Dark Souls (Mørke…

Serbian

A Serbian Film (Srpski film) (2009)

A Serbian Film first published by EyeforFilm In his controversy-baiting debut A Serbian Film (Srpski film), director/co-writer Srdjan Spasojevic uses a particularly extreme form of genre thrills to expose national ills, presenting the thesis that to be Serbian is to be fucked from birth to death – even after death. It is a thesis that Spasojevic…

Whales

The Islands and the Whales (2016)

The Islands and the Whales first published by Sight & Sound, April 2018 Review: There is, in The Island and the Whales, a lot of talk of Huldufólk – a race of ancient elven creatures, autochthonous to the Faroe Islands, who lived at one with nature, but who have, along with their fellow “mermaids, sea monsters,…