The Munsters

The Munsters (2022)

The Munsters first published by Little White Lies, as entry 169 in my Cinema Psychotronicum column Rob Zombie’s The Munsters harks back to a period in American televisual history – the mid 1960s – when, to match countercultural attitudes that were emerging on America’s streets, there was an efflorescence of popular comic series that subverted…

Lore

Lore (2023)

Lore had its world première on Thurs 24th Aug at FrightFest Four friends who regularly attend weekend events together – Mark (Dean Bone), Dan (Miles Mitchell), Donna (Sally Collett) and Sally (Samatha Neale) – get a bit lost as they hike to a ‘creepy forest’. They are greeted by their host Darwin (the ever amazing…

Barbarian

Barbarian (2022)

Barbarian first published by SciFiNow The title of writer/director Zach Cregger’s superlative thriller, Barbarian, is – at least at first – a bit of a puzzler, even though its associations and implications cast their shadow over the rest of the film. ‘Barbarian’ derives originally from an onomatopoeic word (βάρβαρος, barbaros) used by the Greeks for…

Vesper

Vesper (2022)

Vesper has its UK première at Grimmfest The sowing of seeds, whether literal or metaphorical, is not just an investment in the future, but a gendered activity, strongly associated with men. For in agriculture it has traditionally been men who till – and sometimes even own – the land, spreading seeds across it for their…

OffSeason

OffSeason (2021)

OffSeason first published by Movies On Weekends Aside from an attention-grabbing prologue and the occasional flashback, OffSeason is set entirely on the coastal island of Lone Palm just as the last summer tourists leave. The key word here is ‘off’ – for although this is a pleasure resort whose blue-skied beaches are for half the…

Feedback

Feedback (2019)

Feedback first published by SciFiNow “Are we safe?”, asks the voice on the radio promo. “Could we commit a crime and get away with it?” The feature debut of Pedro C. Alonso, which he co-wrote with Alberto Marini (Summer Camp, 2015), Feedback observes a near Aristotelian unity of time and place, unfolding almost entirely over…

Perfect

Perfect Skin (2018)

Perfect Skin first published by SciFiNow Anyone who has seen Rob Zombie’s 31 (2016) will know that the very best thing about it was actor Richard Brake. As ‘Doom-Head’, an incarnation of violent, painful death, Brake’s intense, haunted eyes, gaunt, cavernous cheeks and drawn, craggy skin were an integral part of his authenticity as a performer….

31

31 (2016)

“Now, let’s get one thing straight between us,” declares the first character (Richard Brake) seen in Rob Zombie’s 31 – and the very last character that many of his fellow players will ever see. Made up in smudgy, blood-flecked grease paint, he has just walked in dragging an axe and introduced himself by his working name, ‘Doom-Head’, in…

Set Fire To The Stars

Set Fire To The Stars (2014)

Set Fire To The Stars first published by Sight & Sound, December 2014 Review: “Paradise!” declares Dylan Thomas (Celyn Jones, also the co-writer), as he enters a diner in Fairfield County, Connecticut. “That’s one word for it,” says his more sceptical companion, John Malcolm Brinnin (Elijah Wood). Here there appears to be more than one word…