Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls

Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls (2023)

Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls had its international première at the Glasgow FrightFest 2023. When a film comes with a title like Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls, it is announcing its generic affiliations to the fantasy realm. Yet the title character Onyx the Fortuitous is in fact Marcus J….

Midnight Peepshow

Midnight Peepshow (2022)

Midnight Peepshow had its world première at FrightFest 2022 The title Midnight Peepshow not only offers a titillating promise of after-hours voyeuristic smut, but also advertises the film’s status as a ‘midnight movie’. It will deliver both. Set late at night in Soho, London’s one-time centre of sex, sleaze and sin, and taking place on…

Gandahar

Gandahar (aka Light Years) (1988)

Gandahar (aka Light Years) first published by Film4 Summary: René Laloux’s third and final feature is a time-travelling science fantasy with a lot of brain to match its bizarreness. Review: If René Laloux will always be best known for his feature debut Fantastic Planet (1973), his final feature Gandahar (1988) – also known as Light Years1Gandahar was…

Mothra

Mothra (1961)

Mothra first published by Little White Lies, as the 116th entry in my Cinema Psychotronicum column In 1954, director Ishiro Honda released his black-and-white Godzilla, which was to be Japan’s first kaiju, or ‘monster’, film. Unleashed from the ocean floor by nuclear testing in the Pacific, this gigantic radiation-breathing lizard would become an embodiment of…

The Last Days of Capitalism

The Last Days Of Capitalism (2020)

The Last Days of Capitalism begins with a moment of intimacy: impressionistic, soft-focus close-ups of a couple in the bliss of sexual congress, their two bodies become one. Yet in keeping with the title of Adam Mervis’ feature debut, this relationship is also entirely transactional, and doomed to come to an end.   Not that…

Wanting Mare

The Wanting Mare (2020)

The text that opens The Wanting Mare tells of the city of Whithren, which once a year exports wild horses, hunted down on its outskirts, to a perpetually wintry city across the sea on the northern continent of Levithen. These opposed cities, and the world of Anmaere that contains them, are spaces of pure invention,…

Fantastic Planet

Fantastic Planet (La planète sauvage) (1973)

Fantastic Planet (La planète sauvage) first published by EyeforFilm (13 Sept 2006) The best thing about Tarsem Singh’s The Cell (2000) was not its manic cut and dash, nor its psychological sadism – rather, it was a quiet, largely incidental scene in which Jennifer Lopez’s protagonist was shown lying back in her bed, smoking a joint and…

Terminal

Terminal (2018)

Terminal first published by RealCrime Magazine “There is a place like no other on Earth, a land full of wonder, mystery and danger. Some say, to survive it, you need to be as mad as a Hatter – which luckily, I am.” Writer/director Vaughn Stein’s feature debut Terminal opens with  these words, uttered in a…

Mandy

Mandy (2018)

Mandy first published by Sight & Sound, Nov 2018 Review: It is hard to define what constitutes a cult film, as the label typically refers not so much to content as to the kind of niche yet devoted audience that a film has acquired over time: adoring hipsters who happily return to the scene of…