Toys Are Not For Children (1972)

Toys Are Not For Children first published by Little White Lies, as the 89th instalment of my Cinema Psychotronicum column The title of Stanley H. Brassloff’s follow-up to Two Girls for a Madman (1968) comes across as something of a paradox. After all, if toys are not for children, then who are they for, exactly?…


Zombi Child (2019)

Zombi Child first published by Long-distance relationships are at the heart of Bertrand Bonello’s Zombi Child. There is Fanny (Louise Labeque), teenaged pupil at an élite Parisian boarding school for girls, who expresses her love and longing for absent boyfriend Pablo (Sayyid El Alami) through erotic text messages whose words regularly punctuate the film…

A Bay

A Bay of Blood (Ecologia del Delitto) (1971)

A Bay of Blood (Ecologia del Delitto) first published by Little White Lies, as the 88th instalment of my Cinema Psychotronicum column Mario Bava’s A Bay of Blood opens with a shadowy figure placing a low-hanging noose around the neck of elderly Countess Federica Donati (Isa Miranda) and kicking the wheelchair out from under her….


Rambo: Last Blood (2019)

Rambo: Last Blood first published by Little White Lies It might seem strange that a franchise whose middle section associated it entirely with amped-up, musclebound masculinity should have been bookended by titles (1982’s First Blood, and now Last Blood) that alluded respectively to menarche and menopause, but then, Sylvester Stallone’s John J. Rambo is a…


Hell House LLC (2015)

Hell House LLC first published by The phrase ‘Hell House’ in a title – as in John Hough’s The Legend of Hell House (1973), Mitch Marcus’ The Haunting of Hell House (1999) and Jason Crowe, Roni Jonah and T.J. Moreschi’s Hell House (2009) – is a clear indicator of horror to come, almost certainly…


It Chapter Two (2019)

It Chapter Two first published by Little White Lies   In Derry, Maine, time works in mysterious ways. It seems like only a couple of years ago (in It, 2017, retroactively titled It Chapter One) that it was 1989, and Bill (Jaeden Lieberher), Beverly (Sophia Lillis), Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor), Richie (Finn Wolfhard), Eddie (Jack…


The Hills Have Eyes Part II (1984)

The Hills Have Eyes Part II first published by Little White Lies, as the 87th instalment of my Cinema Psychotronicum column When a person’s life is complete, it becomes all too easy to look back only to its high points, and to ignore everything else as mere bumps along a road to heady success. Wes…


Aniara (2018)

Aniara first published by Drifitng through the air in 2018 there was clearly a very particular anxiety about the direction and decline of human society. In that one year, Kim Ki-duk‘s sociopolitical allegory Human, Space, Time and Human (2018) sees a warship-turned-cruiseliner mysteriously lift off out of the water, trapping its mismatched passengers aloft…


Dachra (2018)

Dachra first published by “Inspired by true events,” states text at the beginning of Dachra, as the camera tracks a humming man carry a sack from the boot of his car to a square where the sack’s contents – a young boy – are ritually, bloodily sacrificed. The scene is impressionistic, shot close over…


The Penultimate (Den Næstsidste) (2020)

A man traverses a barren field in the mist, and tethers his donkey to a leafless, lifeless tree before advancing until he reaches the towering exterior of a brutalist building. Shot (by DP Jacob Sofussen) very wide, this opening to writer/director Jonas Kærup Hjort’s feature debut The Penultimate (Den Næstsidste) is a single take, tracking…