Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Flavours of the Month: July 2013...


The Returned - this 8-part French supernatural series (that's not about zombies, despite what numerous lazy news articles claim - hint: the clue's in the title "Les Revenants") has been a real joy to watch. Beautifully crafted in all regards, it's a mystery that keeps on giving - so many questions, and thankfully numerous answers. There's the big central mystery that will go unanswered until the very end - naturally - but there are innumerable medium-and-mini mysteries throughout, which are either answered, or brought further into focus by small pieces of new information in each episode. There's always a sense of forward momentum, so the mystery never becomes frustrating or stagnant. Bring on series 2!

Click "READ MORE" below for many more flavours of the month...

Sunday, 21 July 2013

The Bloodstained Shadow (Antonio Bido, 1978) DVD Review

Otherwise known as 'Solamente Nero' in its native Italy, The Bloodstained Shadow is a twisted and highly atmospheric giallo directed and co-written by Antonio Bido (Watch Me When I Kill) set in a 'hypothetical Venice' where murder, Catholicism, and alternative spiritualism clash in a semi-blasphemous mystery wreathed in mist and deadly shadows.

Read more giallo reviews here.

Click “READ MORE” below for the review and many more screenshots...

Saturday, 20 July 2013

The Walking Dead Season 4 Comic-Con Trailer Analysis & 5 New Memes...

See more Walking Dead memes here.

At last, the 2013 Comic-Con is here, and coming with it is the Season 4 trailer for The Walking Dead; in another fast-moving sneak-peak, let's delve in deeper and pick some things out.

N.B. Click on each image for FULL SIZE.

Click to Enlarge: It's that time of year again...

Click “READ MORE” below for analysis, screenshots, and memes...

Monday, 15 July 2013

Quadruple Bill Mini Musings: Tapes, Politics, Cars, and Hotels...

What's it about?
Anthology horror in which a group of burglars search for a specific videotape inside a creepy house where a dead guy sits before a stack of televisions and VCRs. Various gruesome and chilling tales ensue.
Who would I recognise in it?
The biggest problem with VHS is that the majority of the male characters are absolute arseholes at best, and flat-out misogynists at worst - within seconds we have no care whatsoever for the wraparound characters, so why should we give two hoots for their survival? Is the film itself misogynist though? No - while there is a propensity for female nudity, there's a fair amount of naked male flesh to boot, and the female characters tend to be smarter and wittier than their male counterparts.

Click "READ MORE" below for more VHS, plus some politics, cars, and ghouls...

Friday, 12 July 2013

Pentuple Bill Mini Musings: 40s, Fields, Valleys, Bars, and Jurors...

This Is 40:
What's it about?
The 'sort of sequel' to Knocked Up, centred on previous side-characters Pete and Debbie, and their friends and family.
Who would I recognise in it?
Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, John Lithgow, Albert Brooks, Megan Fox, Jason Segel, and more Apatow chums.
Apatow drifted into overlong and self-indulgent territory with Funny People, which was very funny very frequently, but which was decidedly too long and lacked a sense of propulsion. Similarly, This Is 40 is missing any real sense of narrative drive - it's more like a series of sketches featuring the same characters each time - and while, again, there's an awful lot of funny moments throughout, you can't help but feel that at 134 minutes, Apatow's been allowed to indulge himself simply because he makes money. He may be very successful, and very funny, but that's no excuse to throw away narrative purpose and on-point storytelling.

The real miss-step with the film, however, is the lifestyle of Pete & Debbie's family. They apparently have financial worries - Debbie's store is only breaking even, while Pete's indie record label is sinking fast - but they live in a vast house, drive two flash cars, can indulge themselves with personal fitness trainers, nights out, and even a weekend at a fancy hotel retreat (literally right after bemoaning their money problems) - and then there's all the expensive stuff they own. It's bizarre for them to then tighten their belts by taking their kids' iPods, iPads, and iMacs (already paid for) off of them, and limiting the WiFi use (again, already paid for).

Click "READ MORE" below for more 40, and more flicks...

Friday, 5 July 2013

Triple Bill Mini Musings: Klowns, Zombies, and Coffins...

Killer Klowns From Outer Space:
What's it about?
Bonkers horror comedy from the Chiodo Brothers (who created the Crites for the Critters movies) about clown-lookalike space aliens who invade a small American town in search of sustenance.
Who would I recognise in it?
Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson, John Vernon.
Goofy fun from the get go, Killer Klowns is a bizarre laugh riot complimented by wonderful practical effects, in-camera visual effects, and a charming sense of mischief. Self aware and deliberately cheesy, it's a perfect summation of a bygone era of filmmaking that has rightly continued to receive love, respect, and obsession from movie fans the world over. There's even a rumour of a sequel titled "The Return of the Killer Klowns from Outer Space in 3D". Good.

Click "READ MORE" below for zombies and coffins...

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Maniac (Franck Khalfoun, 2013) Review

In the last decade there has been a veritable monsoon of horror movie remakes, and while familiar names both large and small underwent the 're-imagining' process (to widely varying degrees of success), William Lustig's notoriously nasty Maniac (1980), slid under the radar – until now.

“Leave her alone!” Written and produced by Alexandre Aja and Gregory Levasseur (worthwhile remakes of The Hills Have Eyes in 2006, and Piranha in 2010), with Lustig on-board, and Franck Khalfoun (the utterly dreadful and menace-free P2) in the Director's chair, it was a real toss-up how this one could turn out. Would it be a pointless exercise in thoughtless money-making (akin to A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010), or would it be a fresh and worthy new spin on familiar material that is held dear as a dark and sinister example of the slasher genre at its best?

Click “READ MORE” below to find out which, and to see more screenshots...