Though Westerns are generally not my thing (I consider the genre’s zenith to be 1988’s Young Guns, which is effectively an issue of Tiger Beat in Stetson hats), I was drawn to Martin Koolhoven’s Brimstone on the strength of the cast and early buzz that its extreme content would fit appropriately in TIFF’s audacious Midnight Madness programme, if not for its sprawling running time. In both cases, I wasn’t disappointed. Koolhoven’s script is as heartbreaking and well-acted as it is uncompromisingly brutal and terrifying, and his cast, led by Dakota Fanning and Guy Pearce, execute the difficult material perfectly.
By Tyler Hodg
Hi, my name is Tyler Hodgkinson and I am a total horror n00b.
In this series, I’ll be taking a look at classic, cult classic, and modern horror films with ignorant eyes. The concept is scary simple. (more…)
When the best thing you can say about a film is that “it’s not quite as transphobic as people are saying”, you know that film has major issues.
By Tyler Hodg
Hi, I’m Tyler Hodg and I’m a horror n00b.
My status is not an exaggeration. If I was to chronicle my experience with the genre, it would exclusively include the climax of Saw, and about 40 minutes of Amityville Horror II: The Possession. Impressive, huh?
It’s been a good year for Oliver Reed fans. Though the actor passed away in 1999, there have been several recent reissues of his work on Blu-Ray. First, there was Ken Russell’s The Great Composers box set from the BFI, which includes the rarely-seen but significant Reed performance in The Debussy Film. Then there was Hired To Kill, which Arrow Video reissued on May 17. And then, there’s Venom, reissued May 31 from Blue Underground.
I should make it clear that those last two movies are not exactly examples of Oliver Reed at his finest.
By Tim Murr
The premise is simple and we’ve seen it before, most notably in the film The Dirty Dozen: take a handful of bad guys, throw them together for a suicide mission, and voila, instant action film. In the case of Suicide Squad, the mission is to get inside Midway City and extract an important someone who is trapped downtown during some kind of terror attack. Of course, the threat is much larger and weirder than anyone would admit to, so this loose cadre of crazy criminals has to learn to be team players on the fly in order to complete the mission… and if they don’t, well, the man in charge, Rick Flagg will just blow their heads off with the push of a button.
By Tim Murr
I was 19 when I saw Easy Rider the first time. I was a punk with a shaved head and had a generally negative attitude towards the world at large. I think I spent most of my time watching Dennis Hopper’s directorial debut with my arms crossed, not bored, but waiting to see what was supposedly so great about this “classic.” Though I found many facets of 1960s history fascinating, I assumed Easy Rider was just some hippy flick which wouldn’t resonate with me or my generation.
By Brian Baker
That’s not to say I don’t like it, or dislike it. Science fiction is just not my milieu when it comes to films. All that diplomacy between antagonistic alien species and the Federation of Planets has never been an impetus to get me to the theater. I also don’t play favorites. That means I’m not into Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica, either.
The lure of a colourful mask, high-flying and fast-paced energy, and over-the-top characters can’t be denied, even among non-fans of pro wrestling. Lucha libre, Mexico’s own brand of pro wrestling, is an intrinsic part of Mexican culture, and Alex Hammond and Ian Markiewicz’s documentary Lucha Mexico puts this phenomenon on full display, warts and all.
How is Hired To Kill an actual thing that exists? Getting the Blu-ray from Arrow Video solely on the basis of the press release describing the film’s co-star Oliver Reed “chewing up the scenery behind an elaborate moustache,” I did not recall any of the plot details when I popped in the disc. So it was with much disbelief and amusement that I watched 90 minutes of something so outrageous that it felt like a parody but was shockingly, not intended as such. If Astron-6 ever gets around to doing for action films what they did for Giallos with The Editor, the result would be akin to Hired To Kill. (more…)