Renfield

Renfield (2023)

Renfield first published by SciFiNow, 12 April 2023 It is absolutely no spoiler to say that the last two words of Chris McKay’s Renfield, said in voiceover, are “metaphorically speaking”.  The film’s narrator is also its protagonist, even if he is usually just a sidekick and a marginal player in the shadows of someone else’s…

Prisoners of the Ghostland

Prisoners of the Ghostland (2021)

Prisoners of the Ghostland first published by VODzilla.co Prisoners of the Ghostland, the first English-language film from prolific genre anarchist Sion Sono (Love Exposure, Cold Fish, Tag), begins with balls. More precisely, with a slow zoom into a coin-operated machine full of brightly coloured gum balls, and a smiling Japanese boy in front of it,…

Willy's

Willy’s Wonderland (2021)

Willy’s Wonderland first published by VODzilla.co There are words which, when placed in a title, promise a certain something – not necessarily affiliation to a particular genre, but at least adherence to a sensibility. ‘Trash‘ is one such word, ‘turkey‘ is another – and ‘willy’ too, which brought hilariously unfortunate pro-nudist associations to Simon Wincer’s…

Adaptation

Adaptation. (2002)

Adaptation. first published by Daily Info At one point in Adaptation., orchid hunter John Laroche (Chris Cooper) explains to New York Times journalist Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep) how each type of orchid has a symbiotic relationship with its own specially adapted insect – its ‘double’ or ‘soulmate’. “Neither”, says Laroche, “will ever know the significance of…

211

211 (2018)

211 first published by RealCrime Magazine Already recreated in Yves Simoneau’s made-for-TV docudrama 44 Minutes: The North Hollywood Shoot-Out (2003), the 1997 ‘Battle of North Hollywood‘ (1997) also inspires 211, even if York Alec Shackleton’s film shifts the post-heist shootout to present-day Massachusetts (or Sofia, Bulgaria doubling for it), changes the two heavily armed bank…

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…

Trust

The Trust (2016)

The Trust first published by RealCrime Magazine Brothers Ben and Alex Bewer’s collaborative feature debut The Trust both opens and closes with the Knights’ 1968 instrumental track Tipping Strings – its brassy, bombastic funk setting an ironising tone for the moral descent that the rest of the film will track with escalating intensity. Initially and…

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans (2009)

First published by EyeforFilm Abel Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant (1992) represented some kind of high (or is that low?) point in the annals of scuzzy cinema. Following a corrupt Catholic New York cop as he tried to juggle his addiction to hard drugs and high-stakes gambling with an investigation into the rape of a nun, Bad…

The Croods (2013)

My review for Film4. Synopsis: A 3D animation from writer/directors Kirk De Micco (Space Chimps) and Chris Sanders (How To Train Your Dragon), which sees a family of Neanderthals emerge from their cave of conservatism in search of a new Tomorrow. Review: Meet The Croods – a family of troglodytic Neanderthals who have survived so…