Lowlife

Lowlife (2017)

Lowlife first published by SciFiNow A man in a luchador’s red mask (Ricardo Adam Zarate) sits in medium shot, staring right into the camera, telling his tale in Spanish. He is the latest inheritor of the title El Monstruo, from a long patriarchal line of near mythic Mexican champions of the people. Abandoned to the slums…

Still/Born

Still/Born (2017)

Still/Born first published by SciFiNow Still/Born begins with both a birth and a still birth, as young mother Mary (Christie Burke) delivers Adam, only to realise in horror that his identical twin Thomas is dead on arrival. Yet the mannered forward-slash punctuation that splits the film’s title (like in Marat/Sade, Face/Off and Frost/Nixon) also betokens other…

Cured

The Cured (2017)

The Cured first published by SciFiNow  Where most zombie films take place at the beginning or in the middle of an undead outbreak, David Freyne’s feature debut takes place in the aftermath. For, as its very title implies, The Cured concerns the challenges presented by attempts to reintegrate into a raw, ravaged community those who have…

Mansfield

Mansfield 66/67 (2017)

Mansfield 66/67 first published by SciFiNow In the Sixties, Marilyn Monroe’s one-time rival Jayne Mansfield was a falling starlet, better known for her off-screen antics and wardrobe malfunctions than for her on-screen appearances, and on June 29, 1967, her life, already metaphorically a car wreck, ended in a real one. This was only a year after…

Ebbing

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri first published by RealCrime Magazine Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) is fearless and angry. It has been seven months since her daughter Angela was ‘raped while dying’ in the (fictional) town of Ebbing, and now Mildred has decided to rent three billboards to advertise the lack of progress in the police investigation,…

Cronos

Cronos (1993)

Cronos first published by VODzilla.co The events of Cronos span three time periods (indeed, the title means ‘times’ in Spanish). The prologue, narrated by Jorge Martínez de Hoyos, briefly opens in 1536 with an alchemist in Veracruz forging a mechanism (the ‘Cronos device’) said to grant its owner immortality; it then skips to 1937, when an…

Vanish

Before We Vanish (2017)

Before We Vanish first published by SciFiNow Kiyoshi Kurosawa is no stranger to humanity’s end.  Apocalypses closed his Charisma and Pulse, and now his Before We Vanish promises the same right from its title – even if the original Japanese title, Sanpo suru shinryakusha, literally means ‘strolling invaders’. Indeed, it tells its story of alien invasion…

Antichrist

Antichrist (2009)

Antichrist first published by Film4 Summary: Maverick Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier tells a traumatic tale of mental and marital breakdown in the deep, dark woods. Review: “There is nothing atypical about your grief”, declares an unnamed cognitive therapist (Willem Dafoe) to an unnamed patient (Charlotte Gainsbourg) who also happens to be his wife, and whose grief is,…

Awakening

The Awakening (2011)

The Awakening first published by Little White Lies “This is a time for ghosts,” states the text that opens Nick Murphy’s The Awakening. The time is 1921, shortly after war and influenza had killed many millions, and left survivors haunted. Yet the text is a citation (complete with authenticating bibliographical reference) from the book Seeing Through Ghosts…

Beast

Beast (2017)

Beast first published by RealCrime Magazine “You’ve got blood on your hands,” Moll (Jessie Buckley) tells Pascal (Johnny Flynn). They have just met, as he, toting a hunting rifle, has rescued her from being date-raped by a pickup from the nightclub. The blood, as Pascal points out, is from the rabbit that he just poached –…

Straight

Straight On Till Morning (1972)

Straight On Till Morning first published by Little White Lies, as the 50th entry in my Cinema Pyschotronicum column “You bloody maniac, what do you think you’re doing!”, yells a woman (Katya Wyeth) at Peter (Shane Briant) as he almost runs her down with his convertible in the streets of Earl’s Court. Only minutes earlier, Peter,…