Anderson

Anderson Falls (aka Darkness Falls) (2020)

Anderson Falls (aka Darkness Falls) first published by SciFiNow Strap: Julien Seri’s serial-killer thriller pits one father against another in a cat-and-mouse chase through toxic masculinity’s legacy. ‘Anderson Falls’ is the name of a wide cascade to be found in Bartholomew County, Indiana – but that is a long way from the urban LA setting…

VFW

VFW (2019)

VFW first published by SciFiNow Strap: Joe Begos pits old army vets against young drugged-up punks in this ultraviolent, postmodern, retrofuturist siege actioner. Every night, a group of ageing American ex-army men from the Vietnam – and in one case the Korean – War gathers at dingy VFW Post 2494, run by their fellow soldier…

Quarry

In The Quarry (En el pozo) (2019)

In The Quarry (En el pozo) first published by SciFiNow In The Quarry (En el pozo) opens with nature: wide shots in montage of a lake, the moon in the daytime sky, rocky cliffs, a turtle near the shore. These are all desolate, arid spaces, devoid of human life. Yet the lake is in fact…

Invisible Man

The Invisible Man (2020)

The Invisible Man first published by Dirty Movies Conventional stalk-and-slash thrillers make an ally of the darkness. After all, it is in the shadows that monsters hide, and that the imagination, starved of visual stimulus, fills the empty spaces with its own panicky projections. Written and directed by Leigh Whannell (Insidious: Chapter 3, 2013; Upgrade,…

Guns Akimbo

Guns Akimbo (2019)

Guns Akimbo first published by SciFiNow Illegal online game Skism pits armed players in live-action death matches, with the whole city their arena. After casually flaming its users, hapless geek Miles (Daniel Radcliffe) is visited by game runners who nail guns to his hands, and force him into a deadly contest with reigning champion Nix…

Rango

Rango (2011)

Rango first published by Film4 Summary: Gore Verbinski’s first fully animated feature is a fish-out-of-water pastiche of the spaghetti western – and twenty-first century living.   Review: “Who am I?”, wonders a pet chameleon, surveying the world rushing past his glass case as he is transported along a Nevada freeway. “I could be anyone.”  This lizard with…

Dead Man's Shoes

Dead Man’s Shoes (2004)

Dead Man’s Shoes first published by Movie Gazette, published 2005 Shane Meadows’ previous Once Upon a Time in the Midlands (2002) was, as its title would suggest, an attempt to transplant the American western onto English soil – but the hybrid which emerged was a disappointing romantic comedy that almost ruined the director’s reputation (carefully…

Johnny

Johnny Mad Dog (2008)

Johnny Mad Dog first published by Film4 Summary: Children lose their innocence in an unnamed, wartorn African state.   Review: With his first feature-length film, the documentary Carlitos Medellin (2004), Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire showed the devastation inflicted on the lives of young people by endless factionalisation and conflict in Colombia. While his second feature, Johnny Mad Dog, is…

Monos

Monos (2019)

Monos first pupblished by VODzilla.co The first word uttered in Monos is the name Rambo. Yet while the film is set in a milieu of guerrilla warfare where former Green Beret John Rambo (of the First Blood franchise) would be right at home, his namesake (Sofia Buenaventura) is a quiet child (who turns 15 during…

Madman

Madman (1982)

Madman first published by VODzilla.co Like so many scary stories, Madman begins around a campfire: “at North Seas Cottages”, as storybook-style text reveals, “a special retreat for gifted children.” Camp counsellor T.P. (Tony Fish) gives a spiritedly dramatic rendition of a ballad about a legendary killer who takes out one by one those who have…