Exploitation is a term that isn’t used with newer films, although every so often we get a film that looks like it’s from today but has the throwback feel. Bounty Killer is one of those films. However, Bounty Killer never claims that to be a throwback and that’s what I really enjoyed about it. If you are mainly inspired by older films and want to really hit hard with the audience who loves that type of thing, do not call your film a throwback. It ruins everything.
John Carpenter has blessed us with many great flicks and inspired a limitless amount of people. He continues to do so even today. Still, Carpenter has a few underrated flicks and Body Bags is one of them. The whole film wasn’t directed by The Horror Master himself, but he directed a segment and more importantly, he nailed it as the host of this anthology. Body Bags might not be the best thing ever but it is a blast. (Don’t take me too seriously when I say it may not be the best thing ever; I mean that in a very positive way, actually.) Now, Scream Factory has given us a pristine looking Blu-Ray.
Oh, Brian De Palma. You broke my heart but I keep coming back. First, it was Mission To Mars, one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen (and this from a diehard MST3K fan). Then it was the dreadful adaptation of James Ellroy’s The Black Dahlia. Still, I was excited about Passion. Noomi Rapace and Rachel Adams in an erotic thriller with lesbian undertones? Who could resist? Not me.
The critics weren’t kind at Passion‘s TIFF premiere in 2012. But Noomi Rapace! Rachel McAdams! Erotic thriller! Plus a score from the great Pino Donaggio. My desire to see the film did not wane.
Well, I’ve now seen Passion. And I have a lot of thoughts, and most of them good. It’s vintage De Palma, that is for certain: heightened emotion masking flatness of emotion, weird artificiality bleeding through lush production design, over-the-top music, exquisite framing, and outlandish narrative. I haven’t seen Alain Corneau’s 2011 inspiration Crime d’amour, so I can’t speak to it, but I now understand why so many hated Passion. It’s not a straightforward movie; it’s a straight-up giallo. Forget Hitchcock. It’s all Italian. There’s even a police investigation, a hallmark of the genre.
The name ZoZo probably won’t ring a bell with normal folk, but if you know me, you should know I’m not normal. I’ve always been fascinated with stories about ZoZo and loved to read people’s testimonies of their encounters with this so-called demon. If you are clueless about who or what ZoZo is, you can find everything you need to know about him online. There is a small community that believes this is real and many have encountered this demon of sorts through the well-known Ouija board.
When the name Danielle Harris appears in a movie, millions of fanboys cry out in joy. However, Shiver is a film that will just make you cry. Shiver isn’t terrible and has a decent plot, but the film suffers from a lack of cleverness.
Many people either don’t know the name Fernando Di Leo or have never seen any of his films. Aside from filmmakers and cinephiles, his name doesn’t come up too often, but I’m here to change that. Raro Film has recently released a second volume of their Fernando Di Leo Italian Crime Collection. Aside from being a balls-out release, the transfers are outstanding.
Every so often we get a horror film that is completely original and stands out from the rest. Jug Face is a film unlike anything you will see this year (or even the upcoming years) in the horror genre.
The Pit Wants What It Wants.
I think it’s safe to say that Neil Jordan has a fondness for vampires. Byzantium is his second film about them, and although I haven’t seen Interview with the Vampire in a long time, I feel confident in stating that Byzantium, while dealing with similar themes, is superlative in every way.
Cop movies are always a difficult thing to pull off. Although there are comedies, action, and sometimes horror cop movies, the most common are cop dramas. To actually pull off a cop drama, a few things are needed in order to keep your audience alert and occupied with what is actually going on.
Blood has these qualities. A cop drama needs not only characters, but good characters. In a short amount of time, we need to establish them and give them history. We need to know that they work well together as well as if they are friends.
Broken is an apt title for director Rufus Norris’s feature debut; viewers will be forgiven if they have a hard time choking back sobs by the end. It’s not all doom and gloom, however. Broken‘s superbly arranged 90 minutes evoke a concatenation of emotions. Certainly there is much chest-constricting dread to be found in the film, and many scenes heavy with emotional baggage, but these are often simultaneously buoyed with moments of exquisite gossamer beauty and unbridled humor, reminders that joy can be ephemeral and often intertwined with grief.