Monday, 17 July 2017

George A. Romero (1940-2017) – Rest In Peace

George A. Romero, the man whose name is inextricably linked with the living dead, has passed away. He was – and is – one of my favourite filmmakers, and a great source of inspiration. Indeed, the man and his work are a big part of the reason why I wanted to get into filmmaking in the first place.

The impact Mr. Romero had on me during my formative years cannot be accurately calculated, but it was significant. After initial exposure to his cinematic legend via all manner of references in movies and TV shows to some evidently landmark film called “Night of the Living Dead”, my first real encounter with the man's work was through a magazine article in SFX. We were on a school trip to Paris and had stopped at a service station where a small sub-heading on the front of a magazine caught my eye. I'd recently become aware of Romero's name and his gore-ific Living Dead films, and – at the brink of entering my teen years – these flicks held a mysterious sway over me. They intrigued me, and they even felt somewhat illicit to my young mind. I bought that magazine and devoured the career-spanning article about the man and his work time and again for years afterwards, and I still own that same copy to this day...

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Wednesday, 12 July 2017

The Purge: Election Year - a quick review...

What's it about?
Third entry in the dystopian near-future franchise in which America 'purges' its apparent sins by staging twelve hours of unfettered lawlessness once a year. Social divisions are stronger than ever before and there is a rising resentment for 'The Purge' itself, and with a strong contender for the White House vocally opposed to the whole event, the architects of the annual orgy of violence attempt to silence their loudest critic once and for all.
Who would I recognise in it?
Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mykelti Williamson, and others.
Great/Good/Alright/Shite?
There are certain gaps in the internal logic of the entire 'Purge' idea that have been there since the beginning, and the previous two films (The Purge, and The Purge: Anarchy) have demonstrated some dunderheaded plotting at times, but after some improvements in the second film it's good to see that the third shows another upwards leap in quality. Not only does the film explore some of the side effects of the annual Purge (murder tourists, roaming body disposal etc), it also proves to be a surprisingly relevant and potent film...

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Friday, 30 June 2017

Flavours of the Month: June 2017...

Slightly off-their-peak television shows, 19th Century assassins, and creasy bits are just some of what's been setting the tone of my June 2017...

Click "READ MORE" below to see this month's looks, sounds, vibes & flavours...

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Evil Ed (Anders Jacobsson, 1995) Blu-Ray/DVD Review


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“I'm just another chunk of meat lost in brain land.” Striking out of Sweden as the blood-soaked antithesis of Ingmar Bergman, Anders Jacobsson's Evil Ed – reportedly made with a budget equivalent to a mere two-and-a-half seconds worth of Jurassic Park – is a frantic and gleefully over-the-top horror comedy crammed to the gills with references to American splatter epics. In some ways it is the ultimate fan film crafted by obsessives of blood 'n' guts cinema, and yet – first appearing in the UK in the dying years of James Ferman's censorious grip on the British Board of Film Classification – when horror was still tantamount to smut – Evil Ed comes as a rebel yell against the Mary Whitehouse types of the world. Hands off our gore, it screams, take your scissors and shove 'em where the sun doesn't shine!


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Friday, 16 June 2017

Double Bill Mini Reviews: Under Your Radar Edition...

Anomalisa:
What's it about?
A middle-aged family man arrives in another identikit hotel in advance of giving another motivational speech on yet another whistle-stop tour. Feeling lost and alone in his life, so much so that everyone but him in this world has the same face and the same voice, he's doomed to misery - until Lisa enters his life.
Who would I recognise in it?
David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan (all voices).
Great/Good/Alright/Shite?
Sometimes the format in which you tell a story can make all the difference, or put an intriguing spin on the material. With "Anomalisa", writer/director Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) teams up with director Duke Johnson to present this very grown up tale of middle-age melancholy in the form of stop-motion animation...

Click "READ MORE" below for the verdict on this flick as well as Kevin Smith's weirdest movie to date...