Shadow of the Cat

Shadow of the Cat (La Sombra del Gato) (2021)

Shadow of the Cat (La Sombra del Gato) first published by VODzilla.co José María Cicala’s Shadow of the Cat (La Sombra del Gato) begins with teenaged  Emma (Maite Lanata) going nowhere fast. She may be pushing hard on the pedals, and the way her auburn locks are flying through the air may be suggestive of motion…

Red Snow

Red Snow (2021)

Red Snow first published by VODzilla.co “I write about vampires, and I read about them, a lot, and I’ve seen a lot of vampire movies,” declares Olivia Romo (Dennice Cisneros), some way into writer/director Sean Nichols Lynch’s Red Snow. “But I never actually met one in the flesh, I didn’t even know they were real…

The Brilliant Terror

The Brilliant Terror (2021)

The Brilliant Terror first published by VODzilla.co “Hello, fucktards, i have a problem with you and anyone associated with you.” The speaker is Mike Lombardo, owner of Reel Splatter Productions, a small horror filmmaking collective based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania – the words, however, are not his own, but rather a death threat that he has…

Motherly

Motherly (2020)

Motherly first published by VODzilla.co In the opening sequence of Motherly, we see various exteriors of a desolate modern farmhouse and barn, and then young girl Beth McKinley (Tessa Kozma) inside sitting alone on the sofa in a blindfold, while adult Kate (Lora Burke, For The Sake Of Vicious) stands over her with a kitchen…

Demonic

Demonic (2021)

Demonic first published by Sight & Sound, October 2021 Synopsis: Somewhere in North America, today. Carly is drawn into an experimental attempt to make contact in a virtual space with her mass-murdering mother Angela, now in a coma. Yet there is something else inside, desperate to escape, and a team of Vatican demon hunters is…

Mosquito State

Mosquito State (2020)

Mosquito State first published by VODzilla.co The title sequence with which Filip Jan Rymsza’s Mosquito State opens is set on a microscopic scale. Extreme close-ups show an island of mosquito eggs floating on water, the larvae within developing into pupae, and then emerging as an adult imago. It is a metamorphic cycle, with each of…

Blind Beast

Blind Beast (Mōjū) (1969)

Blind Beast (Mōjū) first published by Little White Lies, as the 134th entry in my Cinema Psychotronicum column “My name is Aki Shima,” Aki (Mako Midori) says in voiceover at the beginning of Blind Beast (Mōjū). “I was never very popular as a fashion model.” This narration is accompanied by black-and-white images of Aki taken…

The Night House

The Night House (2020)

The Night House first published by Movies on Weekends The Night House begins with a montage: a boat rocking against a jetty, a beautiful timber lakehouse above, and multiple shots mapping out the the house’s interiors. What unifies all these images is their emptiness. For there is no human presence in or around this house,…

Denis Villeneuve on Dune

‘Embrace the desert’: Denis Villeneuve on Dune (2021)

‘Embrace the desert’: Denis Villeneuve on Dune (2021) first published by Little White Lies Denis Villeneuve loves a challenge. The Quebecois filmmaker has turned a horrific real-life misogynistic massacre – the sort of material that would normally yield only the lowest form of exploitation – into the sensitive Polytechnique (shot twice, in French- and English-language…

The Last Thing Mary Saw

The Last Thing Mary Saw (2021)

The Last Thing Mary Saw first published by Movies on Weekends The Last Thing Mary Saw begins with young Mary (Stefanie Scott) opening a book to a story entitled The Old Lady of Bethabara, and starting to read. The next scene is separated from this not just by the film’s title, but by time. For…

Prophecy

Prophecy (1979)

Prophecy first published by Little White Lies, as the 133th entry in my Cinema Psychotronicum column Prophecy opens with three sequences that together establish its themes. In the first, a search-and-rescue team in the Maine woods, out at night looking for missing lumberjacks, themselves come under violent attack from someone – or something – in…