Precinct

Assault On Precinct 13 (aka AP13) (2005)

Assault on Precinct 13 (AP13) first published by Movie Gazette It is a story that has been told many times before: in the Seventies, Hollywood’s studio system gave way to an auteur-oriented movement embracing creativity and the counterculture, and producing some of the most innovative and confronting films ever to have emerged from the United States….

Feast

Blood Feast (2016)

In Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Blood Feast (1963) a middle-class mother hires an Egyptian cultist to cater her daughter’s party, not realising that the exotic ‘blood feast’ he is offering involves cannibalistic sacrifice to the goddess Ishtar. If this plot sounds ridiculous, even throwaway, Lewis knew it, and even ended the film with a policeman at…

Rabid Dogs (2015)

First published by TheHorrorShow “Boy or girl?”, the supermarket assistant asks the anxious man (Lambert Wilson) at her checkout counter. “Pardon?”, replies the man, played by Lambert Wilson and credited only as “˜le père’, before muttering, “A girl. Girl,” and purchasing the red toy bunny that the saleswoman recommends for his daughter. This is our…

Poltergeist (2015)

First published by TheHorrorShow “They’re here.” Again. Much like a house built on top of the unrestful dead, Gil Kenan’s Poltergeist is haunted by the ghost of Tobe Hooper’s original. Few complained that the 1982 film itself drew much of its plotting from a 1962 Twilight Zone episode called ‘Little Girl Lost‘ (about a child…

Long Weekend (2008)

First published by EyeforFilm “Not everybody’s afraid of Mother Nature, sweetheart. Not everybody’s afraid.” A childless, bickering couple takes a break in Eden, only to discover that their civilized veneer barely conceals the full horrors of nature. It could be a description of Lars von Trier’s Antichrist (2009), but in fact this is a remake of an Australian…

Wizard

The Wizard of Gore (2007)

The Wizard of Gore first published by Film4 Synopsis: Jeremy Kasten remakes and updates Herschell Gordon Lewis’ grimy Grand Guignol 1970 horror. Featuring Crispin Glover, Brad Dourif and Jeffrey Combs… Review: Having established his place at the more visceral end of exploitation cinema with Blood Feast (1963), Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964) and many other bloody, bikini-laden B-graders of the 1960s, in 1970 Herschell…

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…

Hara-Kiri

Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (2011)

Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai first published by EyeforFilm “Another one?” This is the grimly resigned response of Kageyu (Koji Yakusho), Chief Official of the noble Ii clan, when he is informed that there is at the gate a shabbily dressed ronin, or masterless samurai, seeking permission to commit formal seppuku (also known as harakiri, or…

Evil Dead

Evil Dead (2013)

Evil Dead first published by EyeforFilm. Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead has been undergoing revisions ever since it came out in 1982. In the UK, it was initially granted an X certificate for theatrical release by the BBFC after some 49 seconds had been cut. Its subsequent VHS release saw it dubbed the “number one nasty”…

Maniac

Maniac (2012)

Maniac first published in Sight & Sound, April 2013 Review: “You are totally not what I imagined,” says Lucie (Megan Duffy), the young date whom Frank has picked up on a website called ‘Cupid’s Rejects’. She had been expecting somebody “fat, with long dark hair and greasy skin full of acne” – in other words, somebody just…

MANIAC remake: first cut

Franck Khalfoun’s s(l)ickly stylised remake of William Lustig’s Maniac (1980) hits cinemas today, and it is everything a remake should be (contrast Evil Dead, also out this week). For it stays true to the spirit of the original while turning it inside out, bringing it up to date, and self-consciously, even melancholically ringing the changes….