FilmHorrorThriller

Blair Witch (2016, USA)

Blair Witch (2016)

Blair Witch (2016) Theatrical PosterIn 1999, the original Blair Witch Project first hit our screens. It seems like a long while ago – the Internet was in its infancy and mobile phones were a still a luxury item. At that point in time it appeared that the horror genre had nothing new to offer in terms of original scares. In 1996, Wes Craven’s Scream had mocked the genre’s stale conventions and spawned a spattering of meta-textual, postmodern imitations with their tongues planted firmly in their cheeks.

“There’s something evil hiding in the woods.”

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FantasyFilmHorrorThriller

Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015, Canada / USA)

Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)

Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015) Theatrical Poster‘If you love someone, set them free’ as the saying goes – if only the protagonists of these horror flicks would take that saying to heart, instead of selfishly trying to continue to pester their loved ones beyond the grave. If they could just leave their relations to rest in peace, it would really make everyone’s life, or afterlife, so much easier. Certainly Elise, Lyn Shale’s character in the Insidious movies, has found nothing but trouble having to trawl around ‘The Further’ for the relatives of the people who beseech her for help. Luckily for them, she’s a rather soft hearted and plucky type.

“The darkest chapter goes back to the beginning.”

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ActionFilmMartial ArtsSci-Fi

Giving DTV Action Films a Better Rep

Nemesis (1992)

Nemesis (1992)

Back in the late 80s/early 90s I was not allowed to watch the many horror films that adorned the plastic shelving of my local video store. Some might say that is wise parenting, considering I was only 5 or 6 at the time. But strangely action films were deemed ok to view (such as substandard fare from Cannon Pictures and Guild Video).

“Look, there’s a lot of us working to make a bad world better. Remember that.”

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ActionAnimationFilmSci-Fi

Metal Skin Panic MADOX-01 (1987, Japan)

Madox-01

Metal Skin Panic MADOX-01 (1987) Promotional PosterAnimated by Hideaki Anno, Metal Skin Panic MADOX-01’s plot centers on Koji, an engineering student who accidentally discovers the Madox-01; a heavy mechanised, armoured exoskeleton. This military weapon, successor to the Madox-00, is equipped with a large array of weaponry and was designed to fight against heavy armoured vehicles. Glancing through the conveniently included instruction manual, Koji climbs into the Madox-01 exoskeleton.

“I…I’m not ready yet!”

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FilmThriller

Anthropoid (2016, Czech Republic / UK / France)

Anthropoid (2016)

Anthropoid (2016) Theatrical PosterThere are worse ways to spend an evening than in a darkened room with Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan, watching a movie. In this case we were watching the Premiere of the Sean Ellis WWII thriller Anthropoid in which they both star.

Ellis’s film is a labour of love – he produced, co-wrote and directed the movie and, as if wearing all those hats was not enough work, he was also his own cinematographer.

“Resistance Has a Code Name.”

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ActionFilmMartial Arts

American Ninja (1985, USA)

American Ninja (1985)

American Ninja (1985) Theatrical PosterOut of all the bizarre trends the ’80s hoisted upon pop culture, ninjas have to be among the most prolific. Suddenly, any two-bit action flick schlock factory received a license to render their product “mysterious” and “exotic,” just by decking out half their actors in black long johns. Never one to pass on a fad that could net them some extra bucks, the Cannon Group gladly hopped aboard the martial arts bandwagon, putting out a series of cult cheesefests that included 1985’s American Ninja.

“The deadliest art of the Orient is now in the hands of an American.”

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BooksExploitationHorror

Brutal Bombshells by Rik Jackson and Craig Jex

Brutal Bombshells by Rik Jackson and Craig Jex

Brutal Bombshells by Rik Jackson and Craig JexAfter a successful Kickstarter campaign last Halloween, Rik Jackson and Craig Jex introduced their sexy, independent, splatter anthology Brutal Bombshells to various comic conventions throughout the United Kingdom.

Brutal Bombshells is exploitation at it’s finest; a collection of six EC Comic styled short stories, each featuring femme fatales, dangerous ladies and psycho bitches who are determined to stalk you, stab you, and (as you take your last breath) gouge their way…to your heart!

“Barbara only intended her new breasts to turn heads… NOT IMPALE THEM!”

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ActionFilmMartial ArtsSci-Fi

Guyver: Dark Hero (1994, USA)

Guyver: Dark Hero (1994)

Guyver: Dark Hero (1994) VHS CoverOf all the bad films I have had the guilty pleasure (and at times displeasure) to watch, none have be as sentimentally close to me as Steve Wang’s live action take on the Japanese Manga; Guyver. A sequel to 1991’s The Guyver (itself a mediocre Americanized take on the source material), Guyver: Dark Hero was everything its predecessor should have been. Granted many might think this is just Power Rangers with blood and gore, but for its minuscule budget it contains impressive practical effects and brilliantly choreographed wirework.

“The Zoanoids weren’t the failed experiment. The Guyvers were. The aliens created the Guyvers to fight their wars for them. The humans rebeled. Out of control. The Guyver is nothing more than a weapon…”

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ActionExploitationFilmSci-Fi

Endgame (1983, Italy)

Endgame (1983)

Endgame (1983) Theatrical PosterLet’s get right to it; is this movie the final installment of The Bronx Warriors trilogy that includes 1990: The Bronx Warriors and Escape from the Bronx, or not? The short answer in my opinion is no, it most definitely is not. It bears no resemblance, nor any connection to the previous films that I could detect; though it is supposedly set in New York, I don’t recall any reference to it in the dialogue.

“For an ENDGAME champion in the year 2025, there’s only one way to live. Dangerously.”

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DramaFilmThriller

Remainder (2015, UK / Germany)

Remainder (2015)

Remainder (2015) Promotional PosterIn Remainder, his debut feature, Omer Fast gives us his take on Tom McCarthy’s brilliant cult novel, an original, reality-bending, psycho-thriller which submerged us in the bizarre mind-warp of a damaged protagonist.

A young man is left both mentally and physically shattered after a mysterious accident in which he is struck by heavy debris falling from the high glass-canopy roof of a swanky London building.

“Based on the acclaimed novel by Tom McCarthy.”

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AnimationFilmTV

Japanese Animation: A Worldwide Culture

Devilman: The Birth (1987)

Devilman: The Birth (1987)Japanese anime has become a global worldwide culture for many reasons. Becoming popular in Japan after the second world war, anime provided an alternative format for storytelling. The common misconception in the west is that animation is primarily aimed towards the children, but this is not the case in Japan.

“For most Japanese consumers of anime, their culture is no longer a purely Japanese one (and indeed it probably hasn’t been for over a century and a half). At least in terms of entertainment, they are as equally interested by Western cultural influences as they are by specifically Japanese ones.”

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DramaHorrorVideo Games

The Walking Dead (2012) Xbox 360

The Walking Dead (2012) Xbox 360

The Walking Dead (2012) Xbox Live Arcade CoverThe Walking Dead is very graphic in it’s depiction of violence. These moments can be unsettling, amplifying the harsh emotional tone in a video game where anyone can be torn apart without notice. Telltale Games don’t hold back when it comes to gore!

“It’s impossible to go through life without causing some kind of pain.”

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