Perpetrator

Perpetrator (2023)

Perpetrator first published by Sight and Sound, 17 Feb 2023, timed with its world première at the Berlinale “Jesus, girls go missing all the time,” says high-school senior Avalon (Ilirinda Memedovski) some way into Perpetrator, barely convincing even herself of her lack of empathy. “I mean, what’s the big deal?” Jennifer Reeder is a chronicler…

Crazy Mama

Crazy Mama (1975)

Crazy Mama first published by Little White Lies, as entry 155 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column “You ladies are dangerous. This is America.”  The speaker is landlord Mr Albertson (Jim Backus), surprised to see, as he evicts Melba Stokes (Cloris Leachman) and her mother Sheba (Ann Sothern) for failing to meet rent on their hair…

Nightsiren

Nightsiren (Svetlonoc) (2022)

Nightsiren (Svetlonoc) has its UK première at Glasgow Film Festival 2023 “Even in modern Europe, in certain lonely villages, folklore and medieval superstitions are still considered a way of life,” reads text at the beginning of Nightsiren (Svetlonoc).  The film opens with a primal scene: faced with the hair-pulling wrath of her abusive mother Alžbeta (Petra Vajdová), little Šarlota (Sára…

Shadow in the Cloud

Shadow in the Cloud (2020)

Shadow in the Cloud first published by VODzilla.co Roseanne Liang’s Shadow in the Cloud begins with a wartime information cartoon. Snoozing and drinking when he should be doing maintenance work on a plane, an airman blames his carelessness – and the ensuing damage done to the plane – on a gremlin (visualised as a precursor…

Mother Superior

Mother Superior (Mater Superior) (2022)

Mother Superior (Mater Superior) had its international première at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival 2022 Elderly Baroness Helene von Heidenreich (Inge Maux) has been found dead in Rosenkreuz Manor, her remote woodland home in Lower Austria, with burn marks suggestive of an electric shock. As the prime suspect, Heidenreich’s young nurse Sigrun Fink (Isabella Händler)…

Reckoning

The Reckoning (2020)

The Reckoning first published by VODzilla.co The text with which Neil Marshall’s The Reckoning opens reveals that it is “England 1665, Year of the Great Plague”, adding that it is “the time of the witch finders.” Coming out in another year of plague in England, the film certainly re-echoes down the ages to the present…

Slumber Party Massacre

Slumber Party Massacre (2021)

Back in the early Eighties heyday of the slasher, the genre was dominated by male writers and directors, but there were notable exceptions. One of these was The Slumber Party Massacre, released in 1982. This was originally written by feminist activist Rita Mae Brown as a horror parody (under the working title Sleepless Nights), and…

Alice

Alice (2019)

Alice first published by VODzilla.co “You know how to do this. You have been doing it your whole life. You have been trained to scan people’s emotions. To know what to say, how to behave, how to please everyone. Take control, Sophia.” So says Lisa (Chloé Boreham), a Francophone New Zealander living in Paris and…

Lucky

Lucky (2020)

“Who is that man?”, asks May Ryer, played by Brea Grant, who is also the writer of Natasha Kermani’s Lucky. May is herself a writer, penning how-to and self-help manuals for women in business, and is constantly having to hustle not just to create her work, but to promote it, to get it reprinted, to…

Blame

I Blame Society (2020)

I Blame Society enjoyed its World Première Tues 28 January 2020 at the Rotterdam Film Festival Meet Gillian – an unfulfilled amateur filmmaker in LA. She has an MA but is unemployed, and the slew of ‘disturbing’ short films to her name have so far not helped her move on to anything bigger. When her…

Bombshell

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story first published by VODzilla.co  Near the beginning of Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, it is casually stated that the Austrian actress inspired the iconography of both Disney’s Snow White and the comicbook Catwoman. While the latter claim is debatable – Catwoman creator Bob Kane has said that Jean Harlow was more…