If we Americans have learned anything over the last 20 years, it’s that Australia is hell on earth. Spiders bigger than your face, jellyfish that can kill you from ten miles away, sharks, Yahoo Serious. . . it’s the kind of place we should really nuke from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.
At its dark little heart, the 1978 Australian film Long Weekend is about hell, and the different ways that concept can manifest itself into reality.
I detest romantic comedies. They are often decidedly unromantic and terribly unfunny. Throw drama into the mix and it’s even worse: concocted conflicts and clichéd characters. Horror comedies are a more palatable but often hit or miss. Combining all four genres seems like a bad idea. Somehow Spring manages to do that and still be terrific. It’s the best romantic comedy/drama horror movie you’ve seen yet.
By Tim Murr
Throughout its first season, The CW’s iZombie has managed to be more entertaining than the last three seasons of The Walking Dead, which devolved from a must-see gory character drama to boring misery porn that suffers from hideous pacing. (And yes, I haven’t missed an episode and yes, some episodes were very good.)
By Tim Murr
I’d guess I have about ten films that are deeply important to me on an emotional level. They’re not necessarily all deep movies, but they are all films that represent very specific times and very specific situations, both good and bad. They are films that I can watch over and over and be transported back to a time and place and vividly relive a certain state of mind and/or heart.
Jaws is one if those films. I was four when I saw Jaws and Jaws 2 on cable. I watched it multiple times before I turned five, which is when my parents divorced. So for me, watching Jaws always takes me back to a time when the world didn’t feel like it was ending everyday. (A feeling that never went away, but evolved from fear to anger to bitterness.)
Brian O’Malley’s feature debut Let Us Prey reveals its darkness slowly and deliciously at first, evoking a sense of dread and mystery that keeps you watching. It also provokes a lot of questions. Who is this mysterious stranger who looks a lot like Liam Cunningham? Why has Police Constable Rachel Heggie been reassigned? Why is everyone at the police station so angry?
Oh how we all get richer / Playing the rolling game
Only the poor get poorer / We feed off them all the same
—Society‘s version of the Eton Boating Song
How do you explain a movie like Brian Yuzna’s Society? It truly is one of those things you must experience for yourself. The 1989 film is an important chapter in the body horror/ero goru subgenre, but it’s also just plain weird.
As a founding member of the Italian progressive rock band Goblin, Claudio Simonetti has helped create some of the most famous and recognizable horror soundtracks of the last 50 years. His side bands, Daemonia and Simonetti Horror Project, have also met with great success. Popshifter spoke with Simonetti about the upcoming 30th anniversary re-release of the Demons soundtrack, American fame, and the horror of working for a major label.
Lamberto Bava’s 1985 monster movie Demons is a nasty, brutal affair, filled with sharp teeth, green blood, and enough stream of consciousness nonsense to make an absurdist’s brain melt. It’s also considered a minor classic by horror aficionados. One of the things that makes the film so effective is the ambitious soundtrack by Claudio Simonetti.
In the two years since I talked to Aaron Moorhead about Justin Benson about their amazing 2012 film Resolution, a lot has happened. The pair contributed a segment to V/H/S Viral called “Bonestorm” and brought their second feature, Spring, to the Toronto International Film Festival. (And there was some kind of mascot battle.) In March, they released Spring as part of a BitTorrent bundle, which is an extremely cool way to bring a movie directly to the viewer.
They visited Toronto last week in anticipation of Spring‘s theatrical premiere in Canada so I talked to them about what has changed over the last few years and what they are going to unleash upon audiences next.
When approached with the right mindset, there can be few things better than a low-budget horror film. Limited funding can force creativity and turn a small story into something greater. This is not always the case, as anyone who has been burned by a late-night drunken Netflix choice knows. Cheap computer generated effects can snap a viewer out of a movie like cracking a roasted peanut out of its shell. Unfortunately, that’s the route most filmmakers choose to take.
The guiding hands behind the films Gut and Phobia have chosen the road less traveled by, and their finished products are all the better for it.