Housemaid

The Housemaid (Cô Hâu Gái) (2016)

The Housemaid (Cô Hâu Gái) first published by VODzilla.co Derek Nguyen’s feature debut The Housemaid (Cô Hâu Gái) is set in 1953, one year before the First Indochina War would end with rural insurgents, backed by the Chinese military, driving the French out of Vietnam. After finding her French master, Captain Sebastien Laurent (Jean-Michel Richaud),…

Mindhack

Mindhack (aka Mad Genius) (2017)

Mindhack (Mad Genius) first published by SciFiNow “There are more neurons in the brain than stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. Pretty fucking cool, right?”  The speaker is the masked hacker Vix – real name Mason (Chris Mason) – whose discourse endlessly relates the workings of the human mind to more global, even cosmic issues –…

Hereditary

Hereditary (2018)

Hereditary first published by Sight & Sound, July 2018 Review: A family has lost its head. After text announces the passing of elderly Ellen Taper Leigh in her daughter Annie’s home, Hereditary opens with a long fluid take of three proximate houses: first a treehouse (also the film’s final image), then a workroom in the house…

Endless

The Endless (2017)

The Endless first published by Sight & Sound, July 2018 Review: Bound as it is by its linear shape as a feature film, The Endless comes with a beginning and an ending, which it marks formally with introductory text and closing credits. Yet from the outset the film conjures its central idea of endlessness by plunging us…

Horde

The Horde (La Horde) (2009)

The Horde (La Horde) first published by Sight & Sound, Oct 2010 Review: After Mathias Rivoallan is discovered on a dumpsite, dehumanised and dead, his suited ‘family’ gather for the funeral. “I know what you’re going to do tonight,”  Rivoallan’s widow Hélène (Marie Vincent) tells Ouessem (Jean-Pierre Martins), before making him promise to “bring them all back,…

Onibaba

Onibaba (1964)

Onibaba first published by EyeforFilm A bloody, protracted and pointless quarrel between rival emperors has torn feudal Japan apart. While they await the return of their conscripted husbands, a woman (writer/director Kaneto Shindo’s wife, Nobuko Otowa) and her daughter-in-law (Jitsuko Yoshimura) have taken desperate measures to survive, murdering any soldiers who wander into their grass field,…

Hodder

To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story (2017)

To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story first published by SciFiNow “I still think it’s accurate to say I’ve murdered more people on film than any actor in history,” declares Kane Hodder right at the beginning of Derek Dennis Herbert’s To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story. “Unless anyone can dispute that, but…

Imitation

Imitation Girl (2017)

Imitation Girl first published by SciFiNow “Alright, whoa baby! She’s gorgeous! Alright, that looks good, how much is it?” The speaker, in the opening scene of Imitation Girl, is a boy in his young teens (William Wakeland), diminished in static wideshot as he negotiates with two older men who have purchased a girlie magazine on his…

Bombshell

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story first published by VODzilla.co  Near the beginning of Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, it is casually stated that the Austrian actress inspired the iconography of both Disney’s Snow White and the comicbook Catwoman. While the latter claim is debatable – Catwoman creator Bob Kane has said that Jean Harlow was more…

Prisonnière

La Prisonnière (1968)

La Prisonnière first published by Little White Lies, as the 53rd instalment in my Cinema Psychotronicum column Josée (Elisabeth Wiener) and Gilbert (Bernard Fresson) live art – literally so, given that the Parisian apartment where they live their lives together also serves as the atelier where Gilbert produces his contemporary sculptures. It is not unusual for…

Mayhem

Mayhem (2017)

Mayhem first published by SciFiNow Derek Cho (Steven Yeun) is having a bad day. Essentially a good guy, if driven by ambition, he has been steadily climbing the corporate ladder as a loophole expert at Towers and Smythe Consulting, while slowly losing his soul. This morning, for example, when Melanie Cross (Samara Weaving) meets him begging…