Cold

Glasgow FrightFest 2018 Part 1

Glasgow FrightFest 2018 Part 1 first published by SciFiNow; includes capsules of The Wanderers: Quest of the Demon Hunter, Attack of the Bat Monsters, The Ravenous, Cold Skin, Primal Rage Thursday 1 March Last year it was Storm Doris that frustrated non-Glaswegian genre fans’ attempts to make their annual pilgrimage to the Glasgow FrightFest. This year the Curse…

Lodgers

The Lodgers (2017)

The Lodgers first published by SciFiNow In the early 1920s, as Irish republicans try to break away from British rule in the Anglo-Irish War of Independence, a young woman living in a rural backwater is also trying to break free of an uneasy historical union in her own family. Rachel (Charlotte Vega, Another Me) lives with…

Mute

Mute (2018)

Mute first published by VODzilla.co Mute is set in the same universe as Duncan Jones’ feature debut Moon (2009), and its events take place shortly after that film’s events. We know this, because Moon‘s protagonist Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell), now returned to Earth, is seen on television sets and moving posters in the background of Mute,…

Stake

Stake Land (2011)

Stake Land first published by VODzilla.co “Call me Martin,” says the voiceover that opens Stake Land, as we see the young man himself (Connor Paolo) riding in the passenger seat of a car beside a much older man (Nick Damici). “I’ve seen things you wouldn’t believe. Things a boy shouldn’t see. But I’m not a normal…

Scalpel

Scalpel (1976)

Scalpel first published by Little White Lies, as the 52nd instalment in my Cinema Psychotronicum column “I do the devil’s work, I change the faces that God intended, I cater to man’s vanity and to his lust,” plastic surgeon Dr Phillip Reynolds (a sublime Robert Lansing) says drily in John Grissmer’s Scalpel, explaining why he was…

Gate

Devil’s Gate (2017)

Devil’s Gate first published by SciFiNow Strange, immediately after hearing the news of Tobe Hooper’s death, to begin the day at FrightFest with a film whose opening pays full and glorious homage to Hooper’s most famous and influential film, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). For the prologue to writer/director Clay Staub’s feature debut Devil’s Gate…

Plumage

The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (1970)

The Bird With The Crystal Plumage first published by Little White Lies, as the 51st instalment in my Cinema Psychotronicum column There is a sequence in the middle of Dario Argento’s assured feature debut The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (L’uccello dalle piume di cristallo) which sets out the film’s stall. The hero Sam Dalmas (Tony…

Misfit

Misfit initiations: Preview of BFI LFF 2017’s Cult Strand

Misfit Initiations first published by Sight & Sound Of all the strands that make up the London Film Festival, programmer Michael Blyth’s Cult section is perhaps the hardest to define. For it offers refuge to precisely those titles that defy categorisation, transgress boundaries, and sit uncomfortably with the viewer. It is where the weird, the wonderful…

Living

The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

The Return of the Living Dead first published by Little White Lies When George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, co-written with John A. Russo, came out in 1968, it would change the horror genre forever, bringing the creature feature out of the gothic castle and into the ordinary home, and refashioning cinema’s zombies (called…

Grave

Grave Encounters 2 (2012)

Grave Encounters 2 first published by VODzilla.co Found footage is one of the few subgenres whose name refers not (like, say action or comedy) to content, nor (like horror) to an ideal viewer response, but rather to the films’ (fictive) material framing and form – which is to say that, for all its claims to…