Stopmotion

Stopmotion (2023)

Stopmotion opens with the image of an object floating in space. It is just like the beginning of Eraserhead (1977), which later included some of its own stopmotion sequences – and much as David Lynch superimposed the bobbing face of his protagonist Henry Spencer over the planet to suggest that what we are seeing is…

Violett

Violett (2023)

“What if I told you there was something else here in the house, and it’s not me?” says Sonya (Georgia Eyers) to her visiting mother Laura (Angela Punch McGregor) near the beginning of Violett.  This is the perfect set up for a small-town Australian gothic, where in fact it is not always so easy to…

Bad Things

Bad Things (2023)

Bad Things had its world première at Tribeca Film Festival 2023 Bad Things opens with a blonde woman carrying a chainsaw from a building across the snow to a car full of her friends. The woman is Ruthie Nodd (Gayle Rankin), the building is the hotel ‘Comley Suites’ in America’s Northeast that she has just…

Hotel Poseidon

Hotel Poseidon (2021) at Fantasia

Hotel Poseidon has its international première at Fantasia 2021 Sometimes a place can become part of the person that inhabits it. The very first thing that we see in writer/director Stefan Lernous’ feature debut Hotel Poseidon is a large dead fish in a half-empty tank of rancid water. It is as good an image as…

Violation

Violation (2020)

Violation first publsihed by Through The Trees, 13 September, 2020 Co-written and co-directed by Dusty Mancinelli and Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Violation opens with the contrasting sounds of loons and baroque music, as a woozily abstract blurring of blues and greens slowly resolves itself into the image of a misty stone bridge over a woodland river.  This…

Beast

Beast (2017)

Beast first published by RealCrime Magazine “You’ve got blood on your hands,” Moll (Jessie Buckley) tells Pascal (Johnny Flynn). They have just met, as he, toting a hunting rifle, has rescued her from being date-raped by a pickup from the nightclub. The blood, as Pascal points out, is from the rabbit that he just poached –…

Trash

Trash Fire (aka The Wrath) (2016)

Trash Fire (aka The Wrath) first published by VODzilla.co  “Do you remember when we first met?” Isabel (Angela Trimbur) asks her boyfriend Owen (Adam Grenier) towards the end of Trash Fire (aka The Wrath). “You were the biggest piece-of-shit douchebag I had ever met, I could not stand you.” When we first meet Owen, as he, in the…

choke

Sun Choke (2015)

Sun Choke first published by VODzilla.co “It’s not a punishment. The rules were put in place for your protection, little girl. Everything we do, we do for you to get better… and you’ll feel so much better after.” The speaker is Irma (Barbara Crampton, Re-Animator, We Are Still Here, Road Games), a neatly dressed woman who…

Symptoms

Symptoms (1974)

Symptoms first published by Little White Lies, as the seventh part of my Cinema Psychotronicum column Though directing under many names (J. R. Larrath, Joseph Larraz, Joseph L. Bronstein, Joseph Braunstein) and working in many genres (horror, thriller, sex comedy, action, drama), Barcelona-born José Ramón Larraz was consistently a purveyor of what might be called Eurosleaze….

Last Horror Film

The Last Horror Film (1982)

The Last Horror Film first published by Little White Lies, as the fifth part of my Cinema Psychotronicum column “I’d like to point out that for the first time in the entire history of the Cannes Film Festival, this prize is awarded to an actress playing in a horror movie.” It is 1981, but these words…

Lovely Molly

Lovely Molly (2012)

Lovely Molly published by Little White Lies When Lovely Molly opens with time-coded home video footage of the distraught heroine of the title (newcomer Gretchen Lodge) declaring to camera, “Whatever happened, it wasn’t me,” and then attempting to slit her own throat, viewers may well catch themselves experiencing the same suicidal impulse. After all, the whole…