Tag Archives: Horror

Deranged (1974)

Deranged Review

Director: Jeff Gillen, Alan Ormsby
Screenwriter: Alan Ormsby
Cast:  Roberts Blossom, Cosette Lee, Leslie Carlson
Runtime: 84 mins
Certificate: 18
Release Date: Out now on BR BUY NOW FROM ARROW VIDEO

derangedbedOf the films inspired by Wisconsin body-snatcher Ed Gein, Jeff Gillen and Alan Ormsby’s 1974 oddity Deranged steers closest to the truth, the opening narration informing us that only the names of the characters have been changed: a quick Wikipedia search will prove its accuracy. Our subject, Ezra Cobb, is less of a Movie Monster than Norman Bates or Leatherface and the low key settings route his exploits in a more mundane realm than Bate’s Motel or even Texas Chainsaw’s backstreets.

Read the full review of DERANGED @ RHYTHM CIRCUS


Blood Simple

The debut from The Coen Brothers (youngest sibling Ethan was barely 26) feels as though it has oozed from a crack in a hot Texas tarmac road. “Down here, you’re on your own”, drawls M. Emmet Walsh’s lurid private investigator in voice over, introducing a sweaty, lurid, pitch black tribute to film noir and the novels of James M. Cain. Funded by independent investors (the brothers went door-to-door asking for cash at the suggestion of friend Sam Rami) Blood Simple is a low-budget commercial thriller with art house tendencies, a pop mixture of low- and high-culture…
Get sticky with my full review at Rhythm Circus…

Evil Dead

Sam Rami’s icky 1981 schlocker The Evil Dead is a hallowed text, regarded by aficionados of grue as an excitingly juvenile exercise in excess. What exists of a story is chopped to bits within twenty minutes, leaving the deadites – evil spirits that possess the living – to a dizzyingly inventive, gore-drenched assault on Bruce Campbell’s idiot hero, Ash. 2013, and Evil Dead (the ‘The’ eschewed for today’s no-nonsense cinemagoers) offers a retooled version with less humour, more conviction, and a Hollywood sheen. An assured poster campaign promises “the most terrifying film you will ever experience”, but the initial fear is of something far more tangible: the word ‘remake’…

“Joooooin usssssss” at Rhythm Circus for the full review…

In Cinemas from Thursday

Crawl – Review


Director: Paul China
Screenwriter: Paul China
Cast: Georgina Haig, George Shevtsov, Paul Holmes
Runtime: 80 mins
Certificate: 15
Release Date: On DVD & BD Now

crawl 2

An old car pulls into an auto-shop on a lonely road on an ordinary day and a man emerges. We meet him iconography first, slowly donning his large-brimmed hat as if he knows there’s a camera perfectly framing the back of his head. His boots clip-clop towards the door with precision and a bell ding-a-lings in close-up to announce his entrance, all scored to a Jaws-riffing tension-builder. The cowboy – European and sparing with dialogue – Anton-Chigurh’s his way through an enigmatic encounter with the shop’s owner, eventually leaving him as a crimson splatter, dribbling down the back wall…

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Stake Land

stake land

Director: Jim Mickle
Screenwriter: Jim Mickle, Nick Damici
Cast: Nick Damici, Connor Paolo, Kelly McGillis, Danielle Harris
Runtime: 98 mins
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 17 October 2011 on DVD and BR

Synopsis: A band of humans try to survive in a post-apocalyptic America that has been ravaged by vampires.

Jim Mickle’s apocalyptic, horror, western, road-movie is the best vampire film since Let The Right One In, not that it bares much resemblance to that Swedish masterpiece. Where Tomas Alfredson’s film excelled in its use of vampire lore to mirror the loneliness of a bullied youth, this 2011 effort uses the backdrop of an America ravaged by bloodsuckers to make a point about social and economic decline, as well as to challenge the way in which humanity in desperation can manifest their faith in violent ways.

A world in which religious extremists attack peaceful settlements by dropping in ravenous vamps from helicopters, those who cling to humane behaviours must drift across a wasted America in constant fear, both from the living and the dead. The philosophy is reminiscent of Romero’s zombie series, but this outlook is far grittier than those films’ satirical, comic book sentiments, and the film is at its most successful when it follows a group of people banding together as a pseudo-family in a dying world, trying to survive with a semblance of dignity.

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Director: Joe Dante
Screenwriter: Christopher Columbus
Cast: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton
Runtime: 106 mins
Certificate: 12A
Release Date: In Cinemas 7th December

Subversive and pop-savvy, this Chris Columbus written yarn charts the destruction of the backlot town of Kingston Falls (isn’t that Back To The Future’s clock tower?) when a posse of vicious creatures run amok on Christmas Eve. Directed by Joe Dante with the manic energy of a Loony Toons short (animation legend Chuck Jones has a sneaky cameo) and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, Gremlins was a cultural and commercial phenomenon which satirized cultural and commercial phenomena and we welcome it back onto our screens…

Read my full review of Gremlins at Rhythm Circus
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