Saturday, 29 October 2011

Sold Out Shocker for Halloween

Last nights Halloween Horrorthon sequel sold out the Studio space and entertained the masses until deep into the wee hours of Saturday morning.  It was a fitting and fun end to the Movie Bar and though it's unlikely the Movie Bar will be back there's a good chance we'll see you again for...

Halloween Horrorthon Part III : Season of the Witch

To everyone who's attended the Movie Bar between September 17th 2010 and October 28th 2011 we'd like to say thanks for making some truly memorable nights.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

The A to Z of Exploitation Cinema

K is for...
Kung Fu Cannibals

Also known as Raw Force, Kung Fu Cannibals is not only one of the greatest examples of the Filipino Grindhouse movement but is also something of an endangered species.  The only existing copy available on DVD is copied from a battered and bruised VHS.  It's worth it and to be honest the VHS' blemishes add a little something.  The trailer's right below...

Still not sure?  Perhaps a trustworthy review will help, and if you're convinced you can buy it here.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Giveaway! Tickets to the Halloween Horrorthon Part II

With the Halloween Horrorthon Part II all but sold out I thought I'd take the chance to offer out a pair of tickets to the Belfast Blogland.  For your chance to be bathing in the blood of four fearsome features this Halloween weekend simply follow the blog and leave a comment on the blog.

Each additional comment or retweet (RT as the kids would say) will enter you once more into the draw.

This years films are the VHS kings that we (the children of the 1980's) would have watched before we were old enough and are still classics.  The Halloween Horrorthon has moved from it's home on Bedford Street to [click here] so though capacity is greater so is demand.

Showing at the Halloween Horrorthon Part II

See you there!

In order to be able to contact the winner the competition will close at 1:00AM on Friday.

Che : Part One

Certificate: 15
Running time: 134 mins
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Julia Ormond, Rodrigo Santoro, Demian Bichir
Genre: Biopic, Drama, History
Country: USA/Spain/France

The first of two epic films telling the self penned tale of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara and in role in the Cuban revolution against Fulgencio Batista lead by the exiled Fidel Castro.  With little more than dedication; the small Cuban force use Guerrilla tactics in their fight against Batista and U.S Imperialism.

There’s few directors operating in Hollywood that have such a chameleon like style that’s all their own like Steven Soderbergh.  His visual palette per film is  unique to itself yet at the same time typical of the man that it’s almost impossible to put your finger on his signature but undeniable once you’ve experienced it.  Where the Ocean’s trilogy trod on the heist movies of the 1960’s and 1970’s (The Hot Rocks, A Man A Woman and A Bank etc), Bubble and The Girlfriend Experience showcased his love of the basics.  Never happier than just being a man with a camera and echoes the joyous love of cinema that was Sex, Lies and Videotape and the more recent Full Frontal.  Sandwiched between Bubble and The Girlfriend Experience, one film released online and on DVD simultaneously alongside it’s cinematic release and another starring a porn star, is arguably the biggest challenge that the Academy award winning auteur has ever had to face.  The capturing of a life that most of the world is already, at least partially, familiar with.

Del Toro’s involvement is one of heavy influence as he serves not just as lead actor but also producer and had it not been for scheduling issues would have had his right hand man character of Raul played by Ryan Gosling.  It’s fitting that we look at Del Toro first.  There’s no denying the role is one that was crying out to belong to him, where Gael Bernal Garcia in The Motorcycle Diaries seemed like perfect casting for the young and impressionable Che, Del Toro is ever inch the experienced leader that can guide the film and audience.  The complexity he brings to the film allows the film to safely sidestep the tricky pitfall of romanticism, there is a lot of dreamy notions of Guevara but Del Toro’s use of charm, passion, compassion and menace each belonging to their own environment creates the most rounded understanding of a man who’s become greater than myth.  Yet he is not without his vulnerability, the weasing physical stature of the asthmatic Guevara is a representation of masculinity that is easily forgotten when dealing with the actions of the man but is one that adds a real fragile humanity to the character and is a startling contrast to the Che of the Guerrilla warfare or Che of the United Nations.  His use of language and tone rings true and is only matched by Bruno Gantz’ performance as Adolf Hitler (in Downfall) for conviction and belief and is a real sign of an actor on his game who has submerged himself in the role of a lifetime.

Demian Bichir (as Castro) is almost equally as impressive, though at the start comes across a little more high pitched and whiny than you might have though Fidel possible of.  As the film progresses Bichir allows his performance to expand and for Castro to grow into the leader that we’re now more than aware of.  By the end of which he’s almost inseparable from the man himself which is a real compliment considering the level of exposure the Cuban leader has been exposed to over the passed fifty years.

The scoring of the film is marvellous, Soderbergh always manages to surprise you visually as well as audibly in every film he does and this is no exception.  The soundtrack of the film is one of elegant simplicity.  Alberto Inglesias’ ear is one of an understanding of the important elements in this tale of one of the most critical points in Cuban history and in understanding that does his utmost to let the score represent an honest depiction that’s emotional yet non-manipulative.

The film has an equally striking simplicity to it.  Free of most of the cinematic stylings that accompany a Soderbergh offering it tells the story straight and looks as though it belongs to Terrence Malick in its beauty.  The use of the black and white narrative in New York at the United Nations is excellent.  Rather than telling a story where the outcome is known and therefore voiding any tension, Soderbergh uses the future events of Guevara and references by the U.S delegate to his “crimes” as a way of setting the film on a head on collision with itself.  Guevara (in colour and in Cuba) is an idealist and Guevara (in Black & White in New York) are at opposite ends of a timeline with differing characters traits but are on a collision course.  This fatalistic approach is one that carries, very heavily, Shakespearian undertones and draws the audience into a narrative to which they all but certainly know the construction of.  The construction of the narrative in this way allows tension to be created and gives the film a sense of tragedy that is difficult to shake (even in victory).

There are a few issues with Che : Part One or (The Argentine as it’s also known).  The supporting characters are broad strokes of individuals, you would even take away from it the sense that several individuals have been merged to create one character, though this is fair enough and understandable/forgivable really.  This is after all one man’s story (two at a push if you include Castro).  The bigger problem is that of pacing.  The film, after an initial settling in period takes a couple of slow, almost stuttering steps in it’s narrative, and is very problem of the entire production.  With Soderbergh’s final cut coming in over four hours long the Studio had little choice (in their eyes) but to break it in half and release two films, later in interviews the director spoke of having enough material from Guevara’s time in New York to make a third film set solely in New York with the joke title Che in the City.  There simply is too much to cover and there are moments where you can see the struggle to cut and trim in the final film.  This seems to be indicative of passion pieces, simply look at Martin Scorsese’s eight hour final cut of Gangs of New York and that will help to clarify why so little of the three hour epic made any sense.

For all it’s issues with timing it’s refreshing to see a film that tries to capture more than a simple snapshot of a man.  In his own way Soderbergh has made a film that’s very anti American (in it's film making) as the narrative isn’t diluted down to the fundamentals and if it was not for the fact that the camera has but one true master (that of protagonist Guevara) could be considered to have more in common with Soviet cinema than his native America.  Che is not unlike the man himself, difficult at points and not without its flaws but worth spending the time to understand.


Friday, 21 October 2011

7 More Tortured Sleeps til the Horrorthon

It's one week until the doors open on the Halloween Horrorthon Part II with this years blood curdling extravaganza switching from the Satanic love letters of last years EVIL! presentation at the Movie Bar to a homage of an era long gone.

The time was the 80's the medium was VHS and the audience were today's adults.  These children of the 80's were too young to have legally viewed this years Horrorthon attractions but they watched them anyway and it's has shaped their fractured minds ever since.

There are a limited amount of tickets remaining for the Horrorthon and can be booked here so don't miss the cinematic swansong of the Movie Bar as we bring to you...

Basket Case directed by the effortnessly brilliant and criminally underrated Frank Hennenlotter, Phantasm which is a real coupe and special thanks to director Don Coscarelli for agreeing to the screening, Re-Animator where most young adults' love of Lovecraft began and the one and only The Evil Dead.  It really couldn't be easier to book all you have to do is click [here] and enjoy the last remaining Grindhouse experience there is in Belfast.

Monday, 17 October 2011

The A to Z of Exploitation Cinema

J is for...
Jungle Hell

An indigenous tribe in an Indian jungle is laid siege to by flying saucers and seemingly radioactive boulders.  This is probably the closest thing to cinematic Marmite that there's every likely to be.  If you don't know whether you love it or hate it check out the trailer.

Hate it?  Awk well, you can't win them all.  Love it? Click here.

Friday, 14 October 2011

The A to Z of Exploitation Cinema

I is for...
I, Monster

Amicus are a name that's, sadly, long been forgotten by the modern horror audience.  Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in this adaptation of Jekyll and Hyde.  If you've never seen this film then the trailer is below and for one of the horror classics starring two heavyweights.

The Amicus back catalogue have been re-released by Optimum Releasing, thank you Optimum!  You can buy the DVD of I, Monster right here!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

H

Certificate: 18
Running time: 106 mins
Director: Jong-hyuk Lee
Starring: Jung-ah Yum, Jin-hee Ji, Ji-ru Sung, Seung-woo Cho
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Format: DVD
Country:  South Korea

When a crazed serial killer walks into the police precinct which is hunting him and gives himself up you would assume that the case is over.  This is, unfortunately for Detectives Kim (Yum) and Kang (Ji), not the case as one year later a spate of copycat murders begin leaving them revisiting old wounds and killer Shin Hyun (Cho) in order to get a sense of the case again.

South Korean cinema is one of the most innovative and fearless national cinemas out there, directors like Chanwook Park (Oldboy, Thirst & Lady Vengeance) and Hong-jin Na (Chaser, and The Yellow Sea) are setting out their stalls for what must be the must see movement of the moment.  Jong-hyuk Lee’s directorial debut H takes it cue from the well established obsessed cop/serial killer genre that in Hollywood has proven a little tired of late but in Asian cinema is filled with promise of twists, turns and genre defying narratives.

H promises all that has become expected from South Korea cinema, it opens brutally with the sweep of a crime scene in one of the cities many waste dumping grounds on a murder victim (some ten months after the initial series of murders) who has been savagely strangled and had her stomach “ravaged” for lack of a better word, in the midst of going through the routine of investigating the crime scene is when they find the baby and everything begins to feel just a little familiar for the detectives.  Jung-ah Yum is a wonderful choice for your lead detective, many tv and film dramas of late have been deploying the strong, almost masculine, female detective and whether it’s Yum or either Scandinavian or American versions of Sarah Lund/Linden there’s no Asian actress better suited and more believable in the role.  Her strength in front of the camera and strong silences are tinged with the slightest hint of guilt and sorrow.  Kim, like all good detectives, had a hunch about the original case, a hunch she ignored to others misfortune.  She was one of the best performances in A Tale of Two Sisters and is, once again, excellent as Kim.  H introduces (then newcomer) Jin-hee Ji as the intense detective Kang, who’s hell bent on putting this case to rest for once and for all.  Ji’s performance draws several comparisons to the passionate performance of Brad Pitt (in Se7en) which is not surprising but is a bit of a disservice to the actor.  His performance is filled with little moments of darkness and light and the actor battles against raw emotion.  The supporting case all perform admirably, especially Seung-hoo Cho (convicted killer Shin-Hyun) though he does owe more than a passing nod to Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lector as he acts with a capital ‘A’.  The remaining supporting cast are the typical detective supporting case better known as loosely drawn and un-fleshed out characters who’s sole purpose is to drive the narrative and clear up exposition (more film needs them).

The cinematography is solid enough, never flashy or complicated enough to deserve any real critique though the mini chase through the rainy streets and the ever moving sea of umbrellas was down remarkably well and is reminiscent of something between a Busby Berkley musical and the sort of cat and mouse sequences perfected by Paul Greengrass’ Bourne installments.  The soundtrack of the film is, like the film itself, at odds with itself.  There are moments when the lullaby-esque score is disturbed by an unwelcome high pitched screech that yanks the audience straight out of the film and is quite difficult on the ears to stomach.  Fortunately the happens infrequently enough that it’s not that much of an issue, though what was going through the composers and directors combined heads to keep these moments in is beyond understanding.

The film seems to be one of two halves, the first hour (perhaps slightly more) is a well grounded and level headed detective movie that’s exceptionally earthy.  The use of the copycat motif allows them to explore a narrative that predates the opening of the film and allows the audience to discover more of the players in the film than simply the narrative.  It also adds a level of stress to the film that straight up “murder book” movies doesn’t have as, unlike the detectives from these other films, they know what’s coming.  Unfortunately the level headed realm of the film is extracted and replaced by a lot of unconvincing and downright wrong pseudo science that is building towards the obvious twist.  Asian cinema, or at least those exported to western audiences, seem to have an over-reliance on the final reel twist that is ultimately the undoing of a vast majority of the films.  A twist is only a twist, after all, if you don’t see it coming.  Unfortunately the twist in H can be telegraphed a mile away, I was able to successful call it only five minutes into the film and was slightly saddened to be proved right.  The problem lies in the fact that so much of the film is regurgitated from many other, superior, films meaning that like any good motorway you can see the signs for the turns and changes in direction and speed long before they’re upon you.

H is, by no means, a terrible film and it seems odd that director Jong-hyuk Lee has been quiet ever since release as technically it was a very well accomplished and constructed film.  The problem with the film lies with the screenplay (also Jong-hyuk Lee’s work) and the fact that as mysteries go there’s nothing new here for audiences who have ever walked a beat, opened a cold case or stepped into an interview room with their favourite screen detective.


Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The A to Z of Exploitation Cinema

H is for...
Horror High

Nerdlinger high schooler turns his guinea pig into a giant mutated flesh eating beast.  This would never happen at Grange Hill let alone Sweet Valley High.  The trailers below to prove it.


There's a couple of sequels, most notably one featuring George Clooney (Return to Horror High), these films lack any real sense though.  Not like the original which is available to buy here.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Certificate: 15
Running time: 127 mins
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Starring: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Ciaran Hinds, Tom Hardy
Genre: Thriller
Format: DVD
Country: UK/France/Germany

Gary Oldman has spent the past decade in the peripheries of the field, always the supporting cast member or the Eastern European villain.  He’s been content with this role as he’s opted to be there for his children as they’ve growing up.  Now, with the duties of Fatherhood duly taken care of, he steps back into the frontline of cinema and into a role that was made famous by one of the greatest actors the UK has ever produced, Alec Guinness.  The role is George Smiley, occupation…spy.

It’s to the credit of director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In) that when the adaptation of John Le Carre’s novel was announced rather than being met with the usual skepticism it was more of a feeling of admiration of the bravery required to even touch a project like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.  The BBC had over five hours to adapt the novel, and did a wonderful job, Alfredson delivered the same in a little over two hours.  Le Carre’s work is not easy to adapt, Martin Ritt’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold starring Richard Burton was one that was extremely faithful to the source material it was also quite difficult to follow and required multiple viewings in order to fully come to turns with the web spun by Smiley, Control and Alec Leamas (Burton).

Control (played by John Hurt) sends a man to Hungary in an attempt to find the identity of a deep cover Russian mole who’s working within “The Circus” (MI6).   When the operation hits troubled ground the old guard are shepherded out of the circus leaving Percy Alleline (Toby Jones) running his much treasured operation “Witchcraft” and a mole still at large.  The future of The Circle now rests in the hands and skills of the newly retired Smiley (Oldman) and a handful of trusted people.

There are few screenplays out there that are as brave as this.  This is an anti-spy spy film, modern audiences have been fed on the worlds of James Bond, Jason Bourne and Jack Bauer and as such have come to expect a certain level of thought to their spies mixed with a heavy amount of industry friendly term “high octane” action.  TTSS is not a film that will be much liked by the children of Bond.  In a world of updating and modernizing (The Bourne Identity was, after all, updated for the modern audience) it’s extremely brave for screenwriters O’Connor and Straughan to essentially write a period piece.  Braver still for them to attempt to bring the purity of the novel to a filmable screenplay.  The use of language is perfect, it’s the language of the Le Carre story, it’s the language of the classical British period of cinema complete with Eton to Oxford pronunciation and it’s perfect.  These were men who served, fought and survived the Second World War and understood the world through a level of civility that has become unfashionable in the modern thriller.  It would almost be beautiful if it wasn’t for the backdrop of the Cold War.

Alfredson’s direction is the real star of the piece (with regards to production) he has a masterful understanding, not just, of how to tell a tale but how to tell a difficult tale, a complex tale.  How to tell this tale.  His use of imagery and the juxtaposition of time lines, past and present allows him to avoid a lot of unnecessary and clunky exposition while skillfully guiding the audience through a minefield of cross and double cross, of lie and truth and all the grey areas in between.  It’s testament to the director that you are able to leave to film knowing exactly what has transpired without having to film the entire novel.  The camera’s discovery of knowledge is cleverly similar to that of film noir as it seems loyal to Smiley, it translates his memory to flashbacks, it follows him as he discovers key elements of the mystery and when it leaves his side it never learns more information (thus presenting it to the audience) than what Smiley already knows.  It is this device that allows the film to create the suspense it does and Alfredson uses it perfectly.

The use of sound in TTSS is soft, unintrusive almost dreamlike but with an edge.  Only on a couple of occasions does the sound become noticeable and on each occasion it’s outside of the UK.  This all adds to idea of the Englishman of 1973, the idea of George Smiley and what it means to be one of the old guard in a changing land.  It, like the screenplay, cinematography and the direction strikes the right note and adds another dimension to an already rich narrative.

To attempt to sum up the excellent performances in this film would be to go through each and every actor individually.  For the sake of time it’s perhaps handy to touch on a few key performers.  Mark Strong (as Jim Prideaux) gives his best performance since Syriana as he struggles to deal with life left behind and the emotional and physical pains of the world of The Circus.  His relationship with Bill is touching and echoes a friendship once had with another Bill (Bill Hayden played by Colin Firth).  Benedict Cumberbatch (Peter Guillam) showcases what has led Steven Moffatt (with Sherlock) and Danny Boyle (with Frankenstein in the West End) to his door.  Several of his keys scenes, and several others throughout the narrative, are played purely on his expressions and physicality and a genuine marvel to witness an inexperienced desk operative step into the shadowy world of the field.  Nervous, cautious yet level headed his face showcases a wealth of emotion.  Tom Hardy (Ricki Tarr) is phenomenal, it’s hardly any surprise, Hardy is always phenomenal.  Never the same in any two roles he is one of the most talented and watchable actors working at the moment and has nothing but an amazing future ahead of him.  He is Smiley’s mirror into the past, un-jaded due to inexperience he has the world ahead of him and years in The Circle, years that will either mold him into the perfect operative or mangle him up in the gears of the machine.  His romantic leaning towards the happy ending is endearing, if not flawed, and would be the stand out performance if it wasn’t for one man… Gary Oldman.  

Oldman has been on something of a career resurgence of late and his performance as George Smiley is the truest sign that the greatest actor never to have won an Oscar is back in the game full time and sharper than he has ever been.  His physicality in the role is amazing, it might sound an odd complement for a non physical spy but the way he cares himself in the film adds twenty years.  He is not the plump Smiley of Le Carre’s novel but is the underestimated hero with a mind sharper and more pragmatic than any other around him.  The scene in which George receives his new glasses highlights not how George sees the world but how the world sees George.  Oldman’s English gent is one in the twilight years of his career is a man in a changing world and becomes of great value due to his intelligence and experience yet is undermined.  Oldman’s ability to showcase the confidence of his knowledge while at the same time play a man unappreciated by his wife and in-laws is a shining example of an actor filled with the hunger expected in those half his age.  The film has many moments of Oldman sitting, thinking or remembering, actions that aren’t typically the thrilling moments of a thriller.  Oldman’s on screen presence draws you in and demands your attention to the point where staring at chess pieces becomes an immensely fascinating experience.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is without doubt one of the most intelligent and faithful thrillers ever adapted for the big screen, it’s also a beautifully shot, perfectly written and acted piece of cinema.  It’s an excellent example of how to hold an audience and is easily one of the best and smartest films of the year.





Monday, 10 October 2011

Help Wanted! Apply within for The Beat Hotel

The Beat Hotel is a Class 13 hotel, meaning bottom of the barrel, a place that is required by law to meet only minimum health and safety standards. It’s run by Sherri Martini, a hippy who believes in free love and payment in trade rather than money, with a penchant for young Jim Morrison look-a-likes.

From Rusty Lane, the 101 year old burlesque dancer, through to Jim Fawndah, the resident gym instructor, from Beau Bronson, the slightly psychotic hotel janitor, to Klaus the taxidermist, there is a general air of madness and never a dull moment.
The characters, show and ethos are inspired by the original Beat Hotel in 1950s Paris, which was the infamous den of iniquity and creative haven for the likes of Allen Ginsberg & William Burroughs.
The show follows the madness of the Beat Hotel characters as they stumble through their world, rounded off each week with a special guest performance in the Beat Hotel Ballroom by non-humans from around the world. Watch the pilot episode here.

The show needs your help and is available to be audience funded through the fantastic website Kickstarter.  You can (and should) make your donations here... http://kck.st/pjmh5k

The Beat Hotel is made by Belfast based Filmtrip so if you're local you probably know the good folk involved so why not give generously.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

The A to Z of Exploitation Cinema

G is for..
The Gestapo's Last Orgy

There's non more difficult a sub genre within the exploitation movement to stomach than Naziploitation and of the worst this is the worst.  Not only was it banned in the UK but everything about it is, at the very least, distasteful and at the worst unforgivable.  Director Cesare Canevari made one further film after the release of The Gestapos Last Orgy.


If you're curious, there's nothing wrong with curiosity, then you can buy the film right here.  Enjoy might not be the right word...but what is?  Enjoy!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Roadracers

Certificate: 15
Running Time: 95 minutes
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Starring: David Arquette, Salma Hayek, John Hawkes
Genre: Drama, Action
Country: USA

The name Robert Rodriguez is synonymous with genre defining yet defying cinema.  He is, after all, the man behind not only the ever excellent From Dusk Til Dawn but also the film that brought Frank Miller back into the world of Hollywood, Sin City, an action we should all be thankful for.  Roadracers is no exception to the rule of Rodriguez’s oeuvre.  If Grease was remade and each musical number was replaced by a knife fight or pyrotechnic stunt then you would be halfway towards understanding the 1950’s in which RR’s tale inhabits.  Dude Delaney (Arquette) is something of a rebel, he sticks out and does little to try and prevent it from occurring.  His daily struggle is between the small minded thugs of the town (who are intent on starting conflict with him due to his relationship with Donna), the Sheriff (who thinks he’s a one way ticket to the big house) and his own personal demons.  His sidekick Nixer (played by John Hawks) is obsessed with Invasion of the Body Snatchers and does little to help bridge the gap felt by Dude.

The first thing you notice about a Rodriguez film is the camera work, as a director there are few as hands on as he is.  Watch a film and count them number of times he appears on the credits.  With this film being shot in 1994 there’s a degree of teeth cutting to Roadracers but it’s still apparent that he has a very unique style of shooting yet at the same time is able to tailor it to suit the period in which the film is shot.  The conservative look of Roadracers is helpful as it adds a level of production value to the piece that is lacking in any period film that doesn’t have the financial clout to control the environment in which it’s being shot.  There are odd occasions in which his flair simply can’t be controlled and the film erupts with style only to return to it’s sleeping state before building to another eruption.  On some occasions they are jarring and separates the audience from the film for a moment but it’s difficult to completely hold these flourishes against the film as it gave rise to the excellent sequence in which a greased up Dude goes to the roller disco and produces a moment of physical fun merged with childish imagination that simply had to belong to the writer/director.

The script has a couple of minor issues with it, initially a balance issue between acts as for the first fifteen minutes you seem to wonder what the film’s going to be able as to goes from set piece to set piece but it’s not long before the characters and conflict is established and it leaves Rodriguez to doing what he does best, which is come up with ingenius and, on occasion, extremely comical ways of dealing with said conflict. 

The performances in the film are great.  Rodriguez has a way of getting every inch of talent out of his stars, Clooney (From Dusk Til Dawn) took years to deliver the quality of performance that RR managed to get out of him, Willis (Sin City) was the freshest version of the Willis ‘tired cop’ mode he has been in years and a genuine revelation and that’s no different than this outing with Arquette.  This is not the David Arquette that Hollywood has sold to the audiences, it’s almost distracting looking back at this film and seeing the different range he can play It’s also probably one of his best performances.  He has a level of complexity to his character that he never, not ever, has in the mainstream outings he has had in his career.  John Hawks is, unsurprisingly, amazing.  John Hawks is always amazing.  He has a sincerity in his acting that always draws you to him, regardless of how dark, seedy, or odd the character is.  As Nixer he plays the slightly hapless friend who’s head is turned by science fiction and the promise of the new America with rock ‘n’ roll meshed with a slightly disturbed teenage outcast and it’s perfect.  Hayek (as Donna) is, sadly, the weakest line as her performance is uninvolved and leaves her, a lot of the time, as the princess who requires saving or eye candy. Hayek is a talented actor and her shortcomings in Roadracers could be down to inexperience but most likely it’s the underdeveloped nature of the females characters in the screenplay.  Special mention should go out to O’Neal Compton who plays the machete wielding cook at the local diner, if there’s a better piece of casting in any film then we should all ‘colon capital O’ right now.

The soundtrack to the film is exceptionally fun, several tracks penned by the one man entertainment industry Robert Rodriguez, and the use of these fifties inspired tracks over the opening credits made up of outtakes from the film is simply brilliant and adds to the feel of fun that accompanies the cinematic release of any RR film.  There are some serious problems with Roadracers but it accomplishes more than it fails at and as the end credits roll you will have spent ninety five minutes being thoroughly entertained.


Thursday, 6 October 2011

The Human Centipede 2 [Full Sequence] gets UK certificate

Press release from Eureka :
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE) GRANTED 18 CERTIFICATE

Eureka Entertainment is pleased to announce the forthcoming release of the controversial horror film The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence).

Ian Sadler, Sales Director for Eureka Entertainment, Bounty Films’ UK distributor said: “We are really pleased that after nearly 4 months of detailed discussion and debate, we have been able to reach an agreement with the BBFC and to produce a very viable cut of the film which will both excite and challenge its fans. Naturally we have a slight disappointment that we have had to make cuts, but we feel that the storyline
has not been compromised and the level of horror has been sustained.”

Further details of our plans for the UK theatrical and DVD release will be announced early next week.

The A to Z of Exploitation Cinema

F is for...
Fleshburn

Sonny Landham (as Calvin Duggai) is an ex soldier on a mission for revenge against the four psychiatrists that testified against them.  Kidnapping them and taking them to the desert they begin a game of cat and mouse that'll leave they changed for ever...and also more than a little tanned.  The trailer is just a taste of the fun involved.



You love it right?  Of course you do...go get it tiger, it's right here!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

The A to Z of Exploitation Cinema

E is for...
The Exterminator

It's actually quite heart warming to see this level of bromance in an action movie.  When John Eastland's best friend is killed he turns the mean streets of New York into a war zone in an effort to extract revenge.  Fancy a little glimpse?

If you, like me, like you vengeance films served up raw and bloody then you might want to click here and get yourself a copy.

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