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  #26601  
Old 17th December 2013, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demdike@Cult Labs View Post
It's how he played every role.
Oy !
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  #26603  
Old 17th December 2013, 11:00 PM
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THANATOMORPHOSE - I should've learned by now not to let my expectations run away with me. It only ever ends in needless disppointment. And so with 'Thanatomorphose', a film I was sure I would rave about, I found myself left with the haunting feeling of having eaten a bunch of ghostly quavers instead of the big f*ck-off pie I thought I might get. The wrong attitude from the start will get you nowhere tsk. Anyway, 'Thanato...' is actually a fairly brave indie horror which leaves us stranded in the bleak apartment of a mostly naked failed artist, who, possibly by way of finding the ultimate metaphor for her existential depression, begins to rot for no narrative reason. Some things happen, a couple of annoying people get stabbed, but mostly she kind of hangs out not doing much. I actually think this is a sound basis for the kind of thing I'd really love to see, a sort of Beckett-meet-Buttgereit endurance test with the emphasis on sickly nothingness rather than shocks. But I didn't quite get that vibe. Not quite enough 'nothingness', and not quite enough 'sickly', despite its reputedly gore laden status according to some reviews. I did think it was good though, and the kind of film a community of fans needs to support ie. a risk taking indie. Also, kudos to Monster Pictures for continuing to release contemporary numbers which would otherwise never make it onto high street UK. I must watch it again to find out whether 'good' might teeter towards 'great'.

ALL NIGHT LONG 2 : ATROCITY - Another flick whose reputation definitely preceded it, one which I hadn't seen despite reading various accounts of its bleak brutality. I was in a kind of washed out mood when I put it on, and didn't really care whether it lived up to my expectations or not. Probably a bit of a dumb idea to watch 'Atrocity' in a less than robust state of mind, as it certainly takes a scouring pad to the twitching underside of the psyche. Or sort of does, because, as with 'Thanato...', I couldn't help but feel it undermined itself in some way. The first thirty minutes really manage to build a heavy, oppressive atmosphere and evoke a world of numbing cruelty, the nadir of which might be forced naked go-going to a Japanese version of DK's 'Too Drunk To F*ck'. But that might be the problem - a certain over-the-topness, a hysteria even. Everything is hopeless, lost to an endless labyrinth of pain and savagery. Everyone is a cruel, horrible prick. It takes real poetic vision to get that atmosphere across. Dunno about 'Atrocity' on that score - it's well put together for nineties J-SOV but, in addition to being overt, is kind of flat. Brave move to feature characters no-one could give a toss about, though - and somewhat interesting, as 'Atrocity' turns out to be at heart a revenge flick driven by the bullied central character, whose self absorbed meekness and clunkily telegraphed creepy obsessions elicit no empathy at all. Anyway, despite these misgivings (which also include arguable homophobia unless I've misread things), I liked 'Atrocity', it's a strong example of extreme Japanese cinema.

ALL NIGHT LONG 3: THE FINAL CHAPTER - It's not the final chapter, there are at least two others (which I haven't seen). I felt it worked a little better than 'Atrocity' in some ways, being more measured in its bleakness but with an offensive over-the-topness which somehow worked. Maybe I thought it was better because it was less concerned with setting up really obvious power dynamics for a big revenge crescendo, more focussed on a pervasive, depressing degradation. It's about a withdrawn young man who collects bodily detritus from rubbish tips and the sex-hotel where he works as a cleaner. Along the way is a trash-collecting serial killer and a bullied schoolgirl. There are loads of gratuitously repugnant bits and, yeah, it might leave you a bit hollow, but then you marvel at the places cinema can go sometimes.

THE CARETAKER - The recent Australian vampire movie. I actually really liked it. I don't quite know why... it has this slow paced, autumnal drama feel to it which grates against the occasional outbursts of vampiric special effects. Quite a unique approach. There's something off-kilter about the music as well, it's really screechy and omnipresent. Somehow, a doom laden atmosphere is conjured out of all this. The focus is on interpersonal dynamics in a survival-type situation rather than action and all the characters are quite weird and unlikeable but still involving. I can see a lot of people not really getting along with it, but I thought it was at least interesting.

CAMP BLOOD 2 - I'm a diehard fan of microbudgeted horror, or at least the idea of it. 'Camp Blood 2' (and, I imagine, 'Camp Blood' itself, which I haven't seen... sort of) feels like the archetype of the late nineties / early noughties shot on video horror... really lame camera, unspeakably cheap effects (and everything), total fag ash minimalism which, in this case, has a weird verve and a gleam in its eye. I hate broad comedy horror, but CB2 made me laugh out loud at least four or five times, which is something I almost never do, esp when watching horror. There's a cleverness and a liveliness to it which revels in cheapness but never becomes obnoxiously knowing. I loved the utter callousness of reprising great swathes of the original (hence the "...sort of" above) to pad out the footage and for once enjoyed the tongue in cheek horror history nerd nods (ie. a trashy starlet undresses in her bedroom which for no reason whatsoever is done out like a cheap Bava-esque nightmare scene with dummies and purple lighting). A lot of these films are a bit rubbish, but I keep going hoping that I'll find something particularly weird or transgressive, or maybe just gratuitous - 'Camp Blood 2' might not be any of the above, but it is a cool romp.
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  #26604  
Old 18th December 2013, 08:39 AM
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Compliance;

Glad I watched this it's excellent. Throughout its running time I felt extremely uncomfortable and very uneasy. Totally engrossing from start to finish. Basically its about how people will obey other people in authority and not question their requests or demands. Hard to watch at times but when all is said and done, it is definitely worth a watch.
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  #26605  
Old 18th December 2013, 01:41 PM
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The Dyatlov Pass Incident (2013)

I was hoping for something special from Cliffhanger director Renny Harlin, a genius to me due to the sheer quality of that Stallone snow bound action epic. Sure enough the setup is fine. A group of American college students (And Gemma Atkinson), all highly experienced climbers, go to the Russian Urals to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a team of Russian hikers at the now infamous Dyatlov Pass. Based on a true event in 1959, where Investigators at the time determined that the hikers tore open their tent from within, departing barefoot into heavy snow and a temperature of −30 C (−22 F). Although the corpses showed no signs of struggle, two victims had fractured skulls, two had broken ribs, and one was missing her tongue.

So far so good. The set up is neatly done in a way where the viewer actually associates with the group. Squabbling teens are not invited here thankfully. The group meet locals in Russia who warn them not to travel which although seems a cliche, a director such as Harlin invokes a great amout of tension to this build up and the slow climb up the barren pass. Harlin creates a fantastic backdrop to events, utilizing the snowy landscapes brilliantly in a way which made me think i was watching Hammer's classic The Abominable Snowmen, the atmosphere was so good.

Alas upon the hour mark it all goes pear shaped. The group discover a door in the ice and the final third becomes oh so predictable. Somehow a great concept manages to turn into a run of the mill, ho hum, seen it all before, shaky cam, creatures on the loose in an abandoned military base movie. Although well done i was expecting something with a bit more thought to it other than a few nods to the USS Eldridge and The Philadelphia Experiment. The quotes on the cover mention The Blair Witch Project and i would have loved the film to take that sort of unexplained route where the viewer has to come up with their own feelings as to what they have just seen.

On the whole worth watching, but like me you may end up disappointed.
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  #26606  
Old 18th December 2013, 08:32 PM
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Who is killing off members of the Hammond family at Hammond Hall? A man? An escaped animal? Maybe a monster of legend?
Who dunnit chiller with red herrings a plenty. Superb atmospheric sets.
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  #26607  
Old 18th December 2013, 11:16 PM
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finally watched this. I knew I'd like it and I wasn't wrong great flick


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  #26608  
Old 20th December 2013, 08:48 PM
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Merry Xmas all

5 movies/releases I've see recently and my thoughts thereof

Tam Lin - This was the year my top 2 desired blu releases came true (Seconds was the other). Actually this happened in 2012 as well (Island of Lost Souls) but I digress, Tam Lin is no lost Wicker Man, but it's a full on entertaining 60s bad trip with beautiful Scottish Borders scenery, a youthful Ian McShane (fresh from The Pleasure Girls Flipside fans), Ava Gardners final performance, cool Pentangle folk music and a great freak out last 15 minutes. Picture quality immaculate. For all it's longuers this is a solid purchase.

Pacific Rim - if ever a movie shot it's duff in the first 15 minutes this is it. Basic problem - there are no consequences to any of this stuff, it's destruction in a cgi void, yawn.

The Act of Killing - The film of the year hype is true, this is an unbelievable piece of work. Werner Herzog is on the Blu ray commentary - can't wait to hear it (saw this on C4). I've actually been to Medan where this was filmed and can confirm it's an utter hellhole, the most uncomfortable city I've ever visited.

The Uninvited - when Criterion do a horror movie, I jump. This is an old fashioned ghost story - the comic relief and gender stereotyping has obviously dated, but, you know, who cares, it's still gorgeous looking and surprisingly creepy as well as psychologically acute.

Deranged - For me the most underrated horror movie there is. Tom Savinis 'not long dead', putrescent corpses are seriously disturbing, I can't think of another borderline mainstream horror (Nekromantik comes close, but isn't even in the same postcode as mainstream) which distorts reality in such a banal yet profound way as this one. Bravo Arrow, by the way for a stellar year.
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  #26609  
Old 20th December 2013, 09:17 PM
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The Innocents (1961) on the big screen as part of the BFI's Gothic season.

Good too see on the big screen. It really brings the gothic, eerie atmosphere and Freddie Francis's cinematography to life.

9/10
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  #26610  
Old 20th December 2013, 09:45 PM
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Vampire circus

Not as we'll knowing as Frankenstein or Dracula and it doesn't have peter Cushing or Christopher lee in it but this is one of my favorite hammers, because of its unique and creepy atmosphere. 9.5/10
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