Hanky Panky

Hanky Panky (2023)

Hanky Panky has its world première at the LA Comedy Film Festival, 2023 The first words heard in Hanky Panky set the tone. “Aw fuck!” says the man racing in panic across a field of snow, as he struggles both to escape and to get a phone signal. Finally connecting with emergency services, he manages…

Abruptio

Abruptio (2023)

Abruptio screens at Panic Fest 2023 “Everyone hears voices, right, in your head?” asks Lester Hackel (James Marsters) near the beginning of writer/director/editor/cinematographer Evan Marlowe’s animated film Abruptio. “When you fall down the voices laugh at you. When you succeed they tell you what a hero you are, or more likely that you just got…

All You Can Eat (2022)

Kieran Reed’s All You Can Eat opens with the image of a three-eyed alien in a flying saucer, toothy mouth wide open to receive the severed human limb that it holds in one of its tentacles. What we are seeing will quickly turn out to be the neon-lit logo above roadside food outlet Planet Burrito (the text…

Funky Forest

Funky Forest: The First Contact (2005)

Funky Forest: The First Contact first published by Little White Lies, as entry 149 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column Funky Forest: The First Contact (Naisu no Mori THE FIRST CONTACT) opens with the image of a cute-looking UFO. White, with two blue portholes that look like eyes, it is perched on the barren surface of…

The Unknowable

The Unknowable (2022)

Writer/director’s Zachary Donohue’s debut feature The Den (aka Hacked, 2013) was an innovative screen-life thriller, where ‘found footage’ sourced from webcams, CCTV and smartphone reveal the internet itself as an anonymous hunting ground for home invasion and horrific entrapment. Donohue’s latest work, The Unknowable, also pieces its narrative together from recordings if not quite found…

PussyCake

PussyCake (Emesis) (2022)

Pussycake (Emesis) had its UK première at FrightFest 2022 Pablo Parés’ super-cheap, hyper-gonzo horror comedy Plaga Zombie (1997), co-written and co-directed with Hernán Sáez, was not only Argentina’s first zombie film, and the beginning, followed by Plaga Zombie: Zona Mutante (2001) and Plaga Zombie: Revolución Tóxico (2012), of Argentina’s first and only zombie trilogy, but…

Les Maîtres du Temps

Les Maîtres du Temps (Time Masters) (1982)

Les Maîtres du Temps (Time Masters) first published by Film4 Summary: René Laloux and Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud animate this episodic SF rescue story for children.  Review: “To get to Perdide, we’ll have to land on Devil’s Ball, and then go to Gamma 10. We’ll have to wait for the passage of the Blue Comet. By keeping within…

Skylin3s

Skylines (Skylin3s) (2020)

Skylines (Sklyin3s) first published by VODzilla.co As Critters 4 (1992), Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), Leprechaun 4: In Space (1996) and Jason X (2001) have taught us, the laws of cinema dictate that all gonzo franchises will eventually lose their grip on any kind of grounding reality and end up in space. Colin and Greg Strause’s Skyline…

Space

Space (Prostir) (2021)

Sometimes a production ident appearing at the start of a film can be a guide to its reading. Space (Prostir) may open with text informing the viewer that it was shot in quarantine during the Covid-19 pandemic by self-isolated participants filming with their own smartphones or cameras and communicating with the director Dmitriy Tomashpolski (Stranger,…

Dark Stories

Dark Stories (2019)

Dark Stories first published by Through the Trees Single mother Christine (Kristanna Loken, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, 2003) comes under attack from a psychopathic Chucky-like semi-animated doll that has just been delivered to her home. Bound to a chair in the basement, she tells the knife-wielding mannequin a series of five ‘scary stories’…

Geeks

Aliens, Clowns & Geeks (2019)

“Maybe just a worthless novelty, but maybe the key to the universe,” says Professor von Scheisenberg (French Stewart), some way into Richard Elfman’s Aliens, Clowns & Geeks. Scheisenberg is describing the phallic obelisk which protagonist Eddie Pine (Elfman’s son Bodhi) has just brought into his laboratory to be identified. This alien object, which uses Eddie’s…