Wednesday, 16 August 2017

So begins the editing process...

After leaving "Murder at the Grindhouse" to 'age in the drawer' for a couple of months I've gone back to it in the last couple of weeks to start the first round of tweaking. Rather than going straight to the computer I've opted to go a bit old school - pen on the page...


Naturally, the majority of the pages now look like an explosion of colour (far more than the above) with new passages written long hand in an accompanying notebook. It's nice to actually apply the changes with a good old fashioned pen, and you get to give your edits their own tweaking - if that makes sense. If you just slap the changes on the document straight away it might be a bit too rushed and you could miss further opportunities to make improvements. Anyway, next up is actually applying those changes to the document itself!

Monday, 31 July 2017

Flavours of the Month: July 2017...

Wrestling 80s style, "something weird and strange", southern hostility, and murderous molluscs - just some of what's been flavouring my July 2017...

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

Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Walking Dead Season 8 Comic-Con Trailer Analysis...



It's that time of year again – San Diego Comic-Con – and, naturally, that means the trailer for the new season of The Walking Dead!

Now, as I've written about before, Season 7 undoubtedly had some problems – however, the show makers have proved in the past that they do listen to fans' concerns and make changes. I've read a few interviews with Scott Gimple (the show runner) where he has stated that not only will the pace of the 8th Season be ramped up, but the structure of the storytelling will be changed. In other words, aside from the possibility of a flashback episode detailing Negan's back story, the 'isolated episodes showing just one character/story' are out. These stand alone episodes can work in moderation: The Governor's flashback episodes in Season 4, for example, or the episode in which we saw how Morgan came to regain his sanity and find a path to peace, or indeed, 7x02 in which we follow Carol and Morgan as we were introduced to The Kingdom (with a satisfying conclusion at the end, justifying Ezekiel's more outré characteristics).

Season 7's biggest problem was definitely the structure, which made the overall story feel fractured with main characters disappearing for a handful of episodes at a time while the writers played for time in-between the premières and finales, sapping considerable momentum. The low point for all this? Episode 7x06: the Oceanside episode – Tara couldn't carry the weight of introducing the third new community of people inside five episodes after The Kingdom and The Sanctuary. Indeed, the introduction of those scumbag trash pile people (lead by the irritating Jadis) proved problematic for the back-half of the seventh season, too.

Anyway – enough of that, because Season 8 is shaping up to be an exciting thrill ride that will reward viewers' patience. All Out War has been declared and the battles are upon us!

Click “READ MORE” below to see what's what in the Season 8 trailer...

The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave (Emilio P Miraglia, 1971) Blu-Ray Review


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“It's not uncommon for a man to do strange things to get his kicks.” The opening companion piece to Miraglia's 1972 gothic-tinged giallo The Red Queen Kills Seven Times, The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave treads similar ground to its successor. Miraglia juxtaposes the old and new worlds whereby the cutting edge design of the 1970s sits amidst a crumbling ancestral home built from stone and sordid family secrets. Riddled with nihilism, this forever-twisting tale of a sadomasochistic fetishist and his not-quite-so-dead wife is soaked-through with moral decay...


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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...

Click "READ MORE" below to continue the review...

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...

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (Emilio P Miraglia, 1972) Blu-Ray Review


Find more giallo reviews here.


“The Corpse That Didn't Want To Die!” Following on from The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave (1971), writer/director Emilio P. Miraglia once again dived into the glamorous pool of the lurid European murder mystery with The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (otherwise known as The Lady In Red Kills Seven Times), a violent clash of morals set against a fractured backdrop where two worlds collide: that of a Gothic castle and that of a modernist fashion house. This is a film consumed with ideas of wealth and the inevitability of hereditary sin...


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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Flavours of the Month: May 2017...

Dark cinematic delights, the funny side of the apocalypse, and the jewel in the Formula 1 crown are some of what's been setting the tone of my May 2017...

Click "READ MORE" below to see this month's Looks, Sounds, Vibes & Flavours...

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Bride of Re-Animator (Brian Yuzna, 1989) Blu-Ray Review


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“This is no longer about just re-animating the dead – we will create new life.” Stuart Gordon's Re-Animator (1985) has, quite rightly, gone down in the annals of cinema as a landmark in horror. Brian Yuzna's 1989 sequel, however, has somewhat lurked uncomfortably in the shadows of its progenitor – but it deserves a re-evaluation, and with this in mind, Bride of Re-Animator reveals itself to be consumed with the idea of unrequited love as it circles the boundaries of necrophilia through the complex entanglement of not merely a love triangle, but a love pentagon...


Click “READ MORE” below to continue the review and see more screenshots – PLEASE NOTE: PART OF THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS (the segment is clearly marked)…

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Dr Alien (David DeCoteau, 1989) DVD Review


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“One minute I'm standing there and the next thing I know they're all over me like mud on a pig.” Following on from Creepozoids, Sorority Babes In The Slimeball Bowl-o-rama, and Nightmare Sisters, David DeCoteau rounded out the 1980s with this teen boy fantasy/comedy that was also known as 'I Was A Teenage Sex Mutant'. Zany from the get-go, it features deliberately on-the-nose humour, many-an-exposed-set-of-norks, substitute professors in lingerie, and an alien proboscis that sprouts from a college nerd's head to act as a powerful aphrodisiac!


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Thursday, 4 May 2017

The Void - a quick review...

What's it about?
A police officer encounters an injured and delirious man out in the woods, and rushes him to the nearest hospital - which happens to be in the process of closing down after a fire gutted its basement levels. However, upon arrival, the officer - with a few staff and patients - finds himself surrounded by strange figures dressed in all white with black triangles where their faces should be. Soon things get out of control as hideous monstrosities erupt from dead bodies, unleashing something worse than hell upon the Earth.
Who would I recognise in it?
Ellen Wong, Kenneth Welsh, Kathleen Munroe, and others.
Great/Good/Alright/Shite?
Written and Directed by Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski, who have worked in various capacities on some of the Astron-6 projects (such as Manborg and Father's Day), The Void wears its metaphysical body horror influences on its sleeve...

Click "READ MORE" below to continue...

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Flavours of the Month: April 2017...

The Walking Dead Season 7 in review, comedians doing their thing, and time travellers from Finland - just a handful of what's been setting the tone of my April 2017...

Click "READ MORE" below to see this month's Looks, Sounds, Vibes & Flavours...

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Emanuelle and The Last Cannibals (Joe D'Amato, 1977) DVD Review


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“The tribe we are to locate are indeed cannibals – tie up their victims, rip open their bellies, tear out their insides, and eat it.” Joe D'Amato – otherwise known as Aristide Massaccesi – the director of such grotesque delights as Anthropophagous (1980), is unlikely to go down in the annals of cinema history as a master filmmaker with a deeply considered artistic vision. His work may skew towards slap dash schlock, but he got the job done and knew to never play coy: if his audiences wanted devoured innards and boobies flopping about everywhere then that's exactly what he was going to give them – and this is undoubtedly the case with Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals...


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Thursday, 6 April 2017

The Bogey Man (Ulli Lommel, 1980) DVD Review


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“The Most Terrifying Nightmare of Childhood is About to Return!” Combining dark themes of childhood trauma with slasher movie tropes, The Bogey Man (or Boogey Man, if you prefer) – a former 'Video Nasty' in the UK – tries to do something original with the genre at a time when the formula was being set that others would blindly follow...


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Monday, 3 April 2017

Cuck Edition: The Walking Dead 7x16 Memes...

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Click each image for FULL SIZE.

Click to Enlarge: Randy Rick...

Click "READ MORE" below for the rest of this week's memes **mild spoilers ahead**...

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Flavours of the Month: March 2017...

Dirty coppers, saucy times in Venice, and antics around San Francisco are some of what's been setting the tone of my March 2017...

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

Monday, 27 March 2017

Lady Nuts Edition: The Walking Dead 7x15 Memes...

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Click each image for FULL SIZE.

Click to Enlarge: You have balls ... I like balls.

That's all for this week - it was a good episode, but not particularly meme-inspiring. I think from Season 8 onwards I'll step down a gear and not try to get one for every episode like I've been doing since Season 3 (to appease my completionist nature!), but from Season 8 I'll only do them when something good springs to mind - that's how the best ones usually come about.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Creepozoids (David DeCoteau, 1987) DVD Review

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“More acid, more megatons – it ain't over yet.” David DeCoteau's low budget creature feature has aspirations walking in the footsteps of Aliens (James Cameron, 1986), but let's be honest, those are far out of reach. However, influenced at the time by the last dregs of Cold War nuclear paranoia, Creepozoids – with its bleak world view and gooey practical effects – provides a charming dose of VHS era sci-fi horror. The year is 1998 and World War III has turned planet Earth into a nuked-out husk where nomads and survivors populate the wastelands as the fighting rages on...


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Monday, 20 March 2017

BFF No More Edition: The Walking Dead 7x14 Memes...

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Click to Enlarge: Simon took a shot to the feels...

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Monday, 13 March 2017

Noah Knows Edition: The Walking Dead 7x13 Memes...

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Click to Enlarge: Why, AMC? Why?!

Click "READ MORE" below for the rest of this week's memes **EPISODE SPOILERS AHEAD**...

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Killer Workout (David A Prior, 1987) DVD Review


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“The workout will kill you!” Otherwise known as Aerobicide, David A. Prior's (Deadly Prey) late-in-the-cycle slasher flick – and feature début – is perhaps the most unabashedly 'eighties' of them all. Beauties clad in Day-Glo Lycra writhing to terrible pop music in the quest for bodily perfection? Check. Convertible Porsches and muscled-up bros with dodgy hair styles? Check. Conspicuous shots of condoms in the wake of the AIDS crisis that was dominating the decade? Check. Visor caps, frizzy hair, and ankle socks? That'll be a big old check on that, too. In some ways, for good and bad, the 1980s have never left us – not in these specific ways, mind you – but the decade of greed and synthesised music has been back in vogue for a while now. But does that mean Killer Workout is any good? Let's find out...


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Monday, 6 March 2017

In Pieces Edition: The Walking Dead 7x12 Memes...

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We're half way through Season 7B, and three quarters of the way through Season 7 in general. This was a fun episode, it felt a lot like that Rick & Daryl episode from Season 6B in which they first encountered Jesus. Good stuff!

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Click to Enlarge: Tough Luck Rick...

Click "READ MORE" below for the rest of this week's memes...

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Flavours of the Month: February 2017...

Music biz excess snuffed out too soon, alternative history meets flying lead, and the guy you send to kill the Boogey Man: some of what's been flavouring my February 2017...

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

Monday, 27 February 2017

Smarty Pants Edition: The Walking Dead 7x11 Memes...

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Click to Enlarge: Seriously, Negan, stand up straight - what would your mother say?

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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (Fred Olen Ray, 1988) Blu-Ray Review


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“What's the matter, chainsaw got your tongue?” Shot in five-and-a-half days over two weekends using borrowed equipment, re-cycled sets, and left over 'short ends' of film stock, Fred Olen Ray's particularly silly comedy horror/film noir spoof Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers – featuring Gunnar 'Leatherface' Hansen as the leader of a buzzsaw-worshipping cult – pretty much does what it says on the tin. Do you want naked ladies of the night hacking up dopey Johns with chainsaws and getting covered in blood? Then step this way...


Click “READ MORE” below to continue the review and see more screenshots…

Monday, 20 February 2017

Darva Edition: The Walking Dead 7x10 Memes...

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Darva? Sharyl? Diva? Hmmm ... Carol's got some competition.

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Click to Enlarge:
I don't know who originated the 'If Daryl dies...' meme, but hat-tip to whoever they are.

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Monday, 13 February 2017

Lessons with Gregory Edition: The Walking Dead 7x09 Memes...

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It's back! Ricky, Margaret, and the whole gang are starting to pull things together ... look out, Negan, the slice capades are in town!

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Click to Enlarge: Gregory sucks, but Xander Berkeley rocks...

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Thursday, 9 February 2017

Don't Answer The Phone! (Robert Hammer, 1980) DVD Review


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“RUN – if you must. HIDE – if you can. SCREAM, but … He'll Know You're Alone!” Conceived of before John Carpenter's Halloween blew the doors wide open for the slasher movie craze that swept the horror genre during the 1980s, Robert Hammer's one and only film – Don't Answer The Phone! – is a curious schism between disturbing realism, dark humour, and jumping aboard the killer thriller bandwagon...


Click “READ MORE” below to continue the review and see more screenshots…

Friday, 3 February 2017

Only God Forgives: quick review...

What's it about?
An American drug dealer living in Bangkok is sent into the criminal underworld by his domineering mother to seek revenge for the murder of his brother. Bloody, stylish, straight-faced chaos ensues.
Who would I recognise in it?
Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vithaya Pansringarm, Tom Burke.
Great/Good/Alright/Shite?
I recently posted my thoughts on Nicolas Winding Refn's latest film - The Neon Demon - and found it to be extraordinarily stylish and obsessed with obtuse symbolism, but I was disappointed by how it sought to dispense with as much plot, story, characterisation, and redemption as possible (and it was decidedly over-long at an indulgent two hours). So I figured it was time I caught up with Only God Forgives, the film that sits between TND and Refn's 2011 film Drive (a richly textured, yearning, ultra cool modern classic). Where, I wondered, would it fall on the scale between those two films...

Click "READ MORE" below to continue...

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Flavours of the Month: January 2017...

Killer thrills in the late 80s, chaos in Kyrat, and coming of age on 42nd Street - just some of what's been setting the tone of my January 2017...

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

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama (David DeCoteau, 1988) Blu-Ray Review


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“Demons murdering your friends? I gotta tell you both, kids – drugs are not the answer.” Hailing from the heyday of the video rental store, when movies like this were hidden away at the back near the infamous beaded curtain and teen boys had few options for titillation if they couldn't find a discarded smut mag on the railway tracks, David (Creepozoids) DeCoteau's goofball cult favourite makes quite an impression. Not only did they make a movie in such a short time (ten days to write, two weeks to shoot), but  Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama is still being talked about thirty years on...


Click “READ MORE” below to continue the review and see more screenshots…

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Triple Bill Mini Musings: Animal Instincts, Bunker Troubles, and Organic Gore...

Zootropolis:
What's it about?
The animal kingdom has evolved beyond its base instincts and created a world where predator and prey of all sizes can live side-by-side. However, when fourteen mammals go missing under suspicious circumstances, it's up to the first rabbit in the Zootropolis Police Department and a sly fox to figure out what's going on.
Who would I recognise in it?
Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Jenny Slate, Idris Elba, Nate Torrence, Tommy Chong, J.K. Simmons, Octavia Spencer, Shakira, and others (voices).
Great/Good/Alright/Shite?
With a strong and clear message at its heart, Zootropolis (otherwise known as Zootopia) still manages to avoid coming off as preachy, because the message is intrinsically lodged into the well-constructed story...

Click "READ MORE" below to continue the reviews...

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Four Flies On Grey Velvet (Dario Argento, 1971) DVD Review


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“Seeing all these worms make a living out of death, kind of knocks the fear out of you, right?” Dario Argento's third giallo film and, at the time, intended to be his last, Four Flies On Grey Velvet is a curious mix of murder mystery and offbeat comedy in which a drummer in a prog rock band finds himself framed for murder – but his blackmailer has no intention of calling the cops on him, so what is it they're after?


Click “READ MORE” below to continue the review and see more screenshots…