New York Ninja

New York Ninja (1984/2021)

New York Ninja is a time capsule, but then so are all films. Even a newly released title will have been in development typically for years, during which it will have accrued and embedded layers of its own recent history in the making. Look further afield, to films made a decade, or decades, or even…

Trust

Trust (2021)

Trust opens with an impressionistically glimpsed and artfully effaced couple having panting, passionate sex, while a series of increasingly urgent incoming text messages (“You OK?” “Call me back.” “Call me!”) is ignored. Next we see Brooke Gatwick (Victoria Justice) returning with a suitcase to her New York apartment, where she greets Owen Shore (Matthew –…

Winged

Q (aka Q: The Winged Serpent) (1982)

Q (aka Q: The Winged Serpent) first published by Move Gazette, in 2005 Police detective Shepard (David Carradine) and his partner Powell (Richard Roundtree) are investigating what appears to be a series of ritualistic human sacrifices, as well as some other, possibly related incidents – like the decapitation of a window cleaner and the disappearance…

Depraved

Depraved (2019)

Depraved had its world première at on 20th March, 2019 at What the Fest!? “You’re so pale. What are you, like a vampire or something?” This is what, a good way into Depraved, Shelley (Addison Timlin) asks the taciturn, heavily scarred stranger (Alex Breaux) with whom she has started drinking in a South Brooklyn bar. Shelley…

Most

Most Beautiful Island (2017)

Most Beautiful Island first published by Little White Lies Most Beautiful Island opens with scenes of the morning pedestrian rush in New York. It is a series of crowd shots, each with a different woman at its centre. By the time the camera has settled on Luciana (the actress Ana Asensio, who is also debuting here…

Combat

Combat Shock (1984)

Combat Shock first published by VODzilla.co Coming at the beginning of a film, the words “Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz Present a Troma Team Release” usually promise a trawl to the very bottom of B-movie bad taste, but Buddy Giovinazzo’s feature debut Combat Shock, which he wrote, directed, produced and edited, is something else entirely. Perhaps…

Good

Good Time (2017)

Good Time first published by RealCrime Magazine The title might suggest fun – an idea reinforced by the use of an amusement park as a key location – but Good Time concerns a man’s frantic and increasingly doomed dash through nocturnal New York to prevent a loved one doing a very different kind of time. After…

Cloverfield (2008)

First published by musicOMH In a Manhattan apartment, Jason Hawkins (Mike Vogel) and his fiancée Lily (Jessica Lucas) are throwing a surprise going-away party for Jason’s brother Rob (Michael Stahl-David). Rob is about to leave for a job in Japan, in spite – or perhaps because -of  his confused feelings about not-quite girlfriend Beth (Odette Yustman)….

Basket Case

Basket Case (1982)

Basket Case first published by EyeforFilm In the early 1980s, mainstream horror was dominated by repetitive slash and dash, with the likes of Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers and Freddie Krueger cornering (and strangling) the market as they sliced their way through leafy middle-class neighbourhoods – but as always, there was a counterculture available for those who…

Top Five (2014)

First published by Sight & Sound, June 2015 Synopsis: New York City, present. Visiting from LA to promote his new, serious (and unappealing) historical film Uprize, comedian André Allen agrees to be interviewed by Chelsea Brown for a New York Times profile, despite having been mistreated in the past by the publication’s film critic James…

A Most Violent Year (2014)

Review first published by FilmLand Empire “If you do right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do right, sin is crouching at the door.” These words are uttered by God to Adam and Eve’s first son Cain in Genesis 4.7. The path of righteousness, however, is not always easy to follow, and…