Rape and revenge films often strive for feminist empowerment over the male violators of the protagonists’ womanhood. The power coming to these wronged leading ladies after the perpetrators’ forced penetration on them. The female gaze is in full effect here in the Canadian production ‘American Mary’ as the title character Mary Mason (Katharine Isabelle in a brilliant turn) finds her strength in her furious anger right in the aftermath of her heinous drug raped ordeal. This leads straight away to a brutal cold merciless drawn out revenge on the vile monster that has caused her pain as she makes him nothing more than a helpless object play toy of torture for her cruel vengeful wrath. Rendered powerless just as she was for his depraved pleasure.
Friday, 17 May 2013
Friday, 10 May 2013
This French/USA production of an updated version of Maniac results in four of the best things a fan of horror cinema could wish for in the hope of an invigorating viewing experience. For slasher enthusiasts it is a superior addition to the sub-genre, spoiled rotten are the gorehounds, it is one of the very finest remakes surpassing the much revered by genre aficionados 1980 original and the film is just simply one of the greatest entries into modern horror of the 21st century. Yes, it does deserve such lofty acclaim.
Friday, 3 May 2013
Rob Zombie does not strive to make films for the mainstream horror audience or any other kind of fan of the genre for that matter. His creative output is personal as his work is very much made for himself and as a result is a very acquired taste. He is the most polarizing modern horror filmmaker who has ripped open a divide so great that the middle ground falls deep through it. On one side, there are Zombie’s fiercely loyal fans that defend his work with every given word who see him as a great visualist, and on the other side, he is shown complete and utter contempt with venomous spit berated as nothing but a hack. Despite all the stinging criticism from that side of detractors though, the writer and director could not care less and has carried on undeterred making the movies he wants to that he would like to see on screen while catering to the tastes of the adoring other half of the split.
Thursday, 25 April 2013
I have seen many a bad film in my lifetime being a horror fan. Sure, every genre has its fair share of the spread of the shit but horror is the biggest dumping ground for below par filmmaking. Everything from ultra-low budget cheesy B movie trash, safe watered down for the masses mainstream fare with a PG-13 certificate slapped on, misconceived remakes, terminally ill straight to home video clunkers etc. I have wasted much viewing time having watched a God-awful amount of genre celluloid abortions over the last twenty-three years. I became a hardcore horrorhead at the tender age of 11 from having seen respectively Wes Craven’s ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ (1984) and John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’ (1978). From then on despite having discovered many other great horror movies such as these, I have had to sit through a helluva a lot of dross more so than any other of my favourite genres.
Friday, 19 April 2013
The Last House on the Beach (1978) - Past The Last House on the Left and at the End of The House on the Edge of the Park
Past The Last House on the Left and at the End of The House on the Edge of the Park
Wes Craven’s ‘The Last House on the Left’ really started something in 1972. The golden age of cinema in the 70s was the transition of the horror genre from the gothic to the modern. No longer were the villains primarily monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, The Wolf Man and The Mummy. It was now the dark side of humanity; human characters that were the real monsters showing what true evil people are capable of doing.
Friday, 12 April 2013
‘Gut’ opens with a sudden act of violence with a murder being committed. We hear the diegetic sound of difficult breathing and choking as someone’s life slips away from them playing over the opening credits against a black background. Fading in to a close-up shot, we see a man with blood splattered all over his shirt on the floor of a room leaning over this person strangling and/or suffocating them. The title card then comes up against the same black background after which we are introduced to this attacker who turns out to be one of the film’s protagonists as we get a look at his family life as he leaves for work in the morning. We the audience do not know when the opening shot takes place in the narrative.
Friday, 5 April 2013
‘Beyond the Darkness’ (Original Italian title ‘Buio Omega’) is a unique gore film in that it focuses more on the bodies of its female victims when they are deceased rather than when they are attacked when living entailing sickening scenes of their dismemberment and their preservation through the art of taxidermy. Do not get me wrong, director the late Joe D’Amato (real name Aristide Massacessi) does execute effectively nasty sadistic sequences depicting the cruelty of the murders of these luckless women but the movie’s main strengths in its imagery of disgusting visceral intensity comes after death. Often described as one of the most stomach churning entries into the 70’s Italian horror boom it does not disappoint as it sure does live up to its exploitative reputation delivering the glorious gory delights.
Wednesday, 23 January 2013
‘The Exterminator’ followed two years after Michael Cimino’s masterful emotionally shattering depiction of the psychological damages caused by the Vietnam War with 1978’s ‘The Deer Hunter’. If it was not for this film’s title, tagline that reads, “In war, you have to kill to stay alive... on the streets of New York, it's often the same” and poster image of a man welding a flamethrower wearing a motorcycle helmet the first 15-minutes of the first act could easily be mistaken as another post-Vietnam War melodrama.
Friday, 18 January 2013
INDIE SHOCKS: Two Short Films by Davide Melini - ‘The Puzzle’ (2008) and ‘The Sweet Hand of the White Rose’ (2010)
Davide Melini is a talented upcoming Italian filmmaker based in Málaga, Spain, who has worked in Rome as an assistant director on many features including working with Italy’s much lauded auteur Dario Argento on the final part of his Three Mother’s Trilogy - ‘Mother of Tears: The Third Mother’ (2007). Backed with his own financing Melini has written and directed four short films (two Italian and two Spanish) and he is at this moment working on a fifth, a homage to the giallo genre entitled Deep Shock. The latter two completed Spanish productions the experimental ‘The Puzzle’ and the supernatural themed ‘The Sweet Hand of the White Rose’ are in review here.
Wednesday, 16 January 2013
The Slasher Horror Franchises
Franchises, namely horror franchises and more defining slasher horror franchises. Since the mid/late-80s, no matter how diminishing the quality of each entry into an ongoing series of a slasher icon’s rampaging adventures as long as the green is being emptied from the pockets of the readymade audiences of these genre brand names the studio executives will shamelessly with little hesitation immediately greenlight the next instalment. The hungry fanboys will lap up anything that is put down in front of them despite the lack of freshly baked new ideas that is being brought to the table. The same time the fans are being fed yet more of what they love, they keep the cash cow fat that the suits keep well in line as a business model not willing to tamper with its structure with creative thinking to take it into a new direction. They consider it a risk in the worry that they might lose the consumer demographic that has been so good to them. If something is not broken why fix it?