Sisu

Sisu (2022)

“Sisu”, text states at the beginning of the film with that word as its title, “is a Finnish word that cannot be translated”. This assertion is immediately undermined by following text which proceeds precisely to offer a translation: “It means a white-knuckled form of courage and unimaginable determination. Sisu manifests itself when all hope is…

Deep Fear

Deep Fear (aka Bunker 717) (2022)

Deep Fear (aka Bunker 717) had its European première at FrightFest 2022 It is Paris in 1991, and Sonia (Sofia Lesaffre) is hoping to give her university mates Henry (Victor Meutelet) and Max (Kassim Meesters) a memorable weekend before Henry is shipped off for military service. So they drink and do drugs together, and the…

Freaks Out

Freaks Out (aka Freaks vs the Reich) (2021)

Freaks Out (aka Freaks vs the Reich) had its UK première at the Glasgow FrightFest 2022 Italy, 1943 – the travelling Half Penny Circus brings thrills and joys to its audience, momentarily distracting children from their day-to-day troubles. Albino ‘Insect Boy’ Cencio (Pietro Castellitto) controls invertebrates with his mind like the heroine of Dario Argento’s…

Salon

Salon Kitty (1976)

Salon Kitty first published by Movie Gazette, April 2005 Berlin at the outbreak of World War II. Following orders from his superiors which he hopes to turn to his own political advantage, SS Officer Helmut Wallenberg (Helmut Berger) establishes a brothel for use by Nazi officials and foreign dignitaries, and selects a group of twenty…

Zombie Lake

Zombie Lake (1981)

Zombie Lake first published by Little White Lies, as the 29th entry in my Cinema Psychotronicum column So attractive have zombies proven over the decades – especially since George A. Romero reconceptualised, modernised and politicised them in his pioneering Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978) – that they have not…

Outpost

Outpost: Black Sun (2012)

First published by Little White Lies Before the Second World War had yet come to an end, cinema was already bringing us armies of Nazi undead (1943’s Revenge of the Zombies) – and over the subsequent decades, in films like The Frozen Dead (1966), Shock Waves (1977), Zombie Lake (1981) and Oasis of the Zombies…

Dead Snow 2

Dead Snow 2: Red Vs. Dead (2014)

Dead Snow 2: Red Vs. Dead first published by Film Divider “The Sequel You Did Nazi Coming,” reads the poster tagline for Dead Snow 2: Red Vs. Dead (Død Snø 2) – and it is absolutely true. For while sequels hardly come as a surprise in the horror genre, Tommy Wirkola’s follow-up to Dead Snow (2009), though…

Diplomacy (2014)

Review first published by Sight & Sound, Jan 2015 Synopsis: Paris before dawn, 25th August 1944. With the Allies due in the city centre within hours, General Dietrich von Choltitz prepares to enact Hitler’s orders to level the capital with rigged explosives. The Swedish consul Raoul Nordling enters Choltitz’s suite at the Hôtel Meurice via…