Trash

Trash Fire (2016)

Trash Fire first published by VODzilla.co  “Do you remember when we first met?” Isabel (Angela Trimbur) asks her boyfriend Owen (Adam Grenier) towards the end of Trash Fire. “You were the biggest piece-of-shit douchebag I had ever met, I could not stand you.” When we first meet Owen, as he, in the film’s opening sequence, reveals…

Sun

Blind Sun (2015)

Blind Sun first published by VODzilla.co When asked who he is by a visitor to the house he is sitting, “No-one,” is how Ashraf Idriss (Ziad Bakri) instinctively responds. Right from the start of Joyce A. Nashawati’s feature debut Blind Sun, when a racist motorcycle policeman (Yannis Stankoglou) flags Ashraf’s car down and steals his papers,…

Burning

The Burning (1981)

The Burning first published by VODzilla.co  The co-eds who inhabit horror’s slasher subgenre tend to live fast and die young. For in the space of a feature’s brief running time (and these films rarely pass 95 minutes), teen characters typically undergo their first sexual experience and other rites of passage, before falling victim to a killer…

Transmission

Transmission (2017)

In keeping with its title, Transmission opens with a televisual nightmare: a disturbingly hypermanic barrage of images on a flickering screen, as though channels were being surfed by a madman. That television sits in an arched cellar, where Johann Strauss Sr’s Radetzky March pours its incongruously upbeat notes from two speakers. This bricked bunker has been…

Dogged

Dogged (2017)

The first thing we see in Dogged is a lush green: a field of ripe wheat crops under a grey cloudy sky, all tinted in vivid, hyperreal colours. This image is a meaningful signature, for while Dogged is Richard Rowntree’s feature debut as a director, expanded from his 2015 short of the same name, he…

Split

Split (2016)

Split first published by Little White Lies In M. Night Shyamalan’s Split, three teenaged girls – Claire (Haley Lu Richardson), Marcia (Jessica Sula) and the more troubled Casey (Anya The Witch Taylor-Joy) – are abducted from a carpark, and find themselves imprisoned in a complex of rooms. There they must work with – or against –…

Detail

The Last Detail (1973)

The Last Detail first published by Little White Lies, as part 28 of my Cinema Psychotronicum column It opens with its protagonist, a military man who has been off combat duty for a while, receiving a mission while heavily intoxicated. Yet unlike Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, which came out six years later in 1979 and…

Alfredo

Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia first published by Little White Lies, as part 26 of my Cinema Psychotronicum column It begins with a still life – a static image of water fowl on a pond, accompanied by the gentle strumming of a Mexican folk guitar. The image comes to life as both birds and…

Metroporisu

Metropolis (Metroporisu) (2001)

Metropolis (Metroporisu) first published by Little White Lies, as part 25 of my Cinema Psychotronicum column “Every epoch dreams its successor,” states text at the beginning of Rintaro’s feature-length anime Metropolis (Metroporisu). This quotation from the nineteenth-century French historian Jules Michelet captures something of the film’s retrofuturist vibe, as we see Rintaro’s towering world of tomorrow…

Willie

Willie Dynamite (1974)

Willie Dynamite first published by Little White Lies, as part 27 of my Cinema Psychotronicum column In the opening scenes of Gilbert Moses’ feature debut Willie Dynamite, its eponymous protagonist (Roscoe Orman) displays all the polished veneer of success within American patriarchy. He drives a flashily modified, purple-painted car (his name emblazoned across its customised plates)…

Sadako

Sadako vs. Kayako (2016)

Sadako vs. Kayako first published by VODzilla.co Sometimes to understand the present, you need to plunge headlong into history. Back on the eve of the new millennium, Hideo Nakata’s Ring (1998) would introduce the world to Sadako Yamamura, an unquiet spirit who wreaks her revenge from the world beyond via a cursed videotape. Updating traditional Japanese…