The Hyperborean

The Hyperborean (2023)

The Hyperborean had its international première at Soho Horror Film Festival 2023 “I’m the patriarch of this family, I have a unique perspective on all this, and I’ve got the most to lose,” says ‘whisky magnate’ Hollis Cameron (Tony Burgess) about halfway through The Hyperborean. “In the basement what we have is criminal exposure –…

Dreamland

Dreamland (2019)

Dreamland first published by Little White Lies, as entry 101 of my Cinema Psychotronicum column “We’re in a different world,” says a grizzled hitman (Stephen McHattie) of his surroundings near the end of Dreamland. He is not wrong, and the clue is in the title. For Bruce McDonald’s film falls into a body of works…

Hoard

The Hoard (2018)

The Hoard first published by SciFiNow “The following presentation is derived from footage captured by the catastrophic reality TV pilot Extremely Haunted Hoarders,” reads text at the beginning of The Hoard, over a rapid – indeed, so rapid as to be near inscrutable – montage of monstrosity, mayhem and murder. It is not just a…

Hexecutioners

The Hexecutioners (2015)

The Hexecutioners first published by TheHorrorShow The road to death can be easy or hard. In the past, different cultures have tried to ease this inevitable transition with rituals designed to expiate past sins and console those left behind – whereas in our more secular age, the stages of death have increasingly become sanitised and medicalised….

The Ninja Trilogy (1981-84), Septic Man (2013)

First published (in a shorter version, without Septic Man) by Little White Lies, as the first part of my Cinema Psychotronicum column Sometimes genus and species can be difficult to pin down. Take the brand of cinema known broadly – very broadly, in fact – as ‘psychotronic’, a term first appropriated by Michael Weldon from…

Septic Man (2013)

This was originally intended to appear in my new column on Psychotronic Cinema, but has now become a standalone piece… Emblematic of all things psychotronic is Jesse Thomas Cook’s Septic Man (2013). Quick to assert its rejection of good taste’s normative boundaries, it opens with a woman literally vomiting and shitting herself to death. For…

Pontypool (2008)

Pontypool first published by Film4 Synopsis: In parochial Pontypool, a shock jock probes, prods and provokes the end of the world (as we know it). Cult Canadian filmmaker Bruce McDonald (Roadkill, Highway 61, The Tracey Fragments) directs this reality-warping horror. Review: “Pontypool. Pontypool. Pantypool. Pont du Flaque. What does it mean?” If, as William S Burroughs liked to assert, language…