DramaReviewsSci-FiThriller

Donnie Darko (2001, 2016, USA) 15th Anniversary (4K Restoration)

Donnie Darko (2001) 15th Anniversary

I emerge from the darkness of a doorway, blinking into the daylight of a Soho street. I look up at the sliver of wintry sky between the tops of the buildings, hoping that a random wormhole into a time portal might somehow open up.

Admittedly, this is almost a daily occurrence with me, but [at the time of writing] it is particularly significant as it is October 2nd [2016], and I have just come out of a special 15th anniversary screening of Donnie Darko, Richard Kelly’s much beloved and oft debated cult movie.

“What would you do if you knew the future?”

PRESS PLAY ►

ComedyFilmHorrorReviews

Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell (2009, 2014, Japan)

Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell (2009)

Directed by Shinichi Fukazawa, Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell is a Japanese splatter film that pays tribute to the enduring spirit of director Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead (1981) and Evil Dead II (1987).

Known as the ‘Japanese Evil Dead’ to those few that have actually managed to get their hands on this no-budget horror flick outside of Japan, Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell meshes the SFX style of Hausu (1977) with the comedy and splatter associated with The Evil Dead series.

“Groovy!”

PRESS PLAY ►

ActionDramaFilmHorror

The Sky Has Fallen (2009, 2015, USA)

The Sky Has Fallen (2009, 2015)

Doug Roos’ independently produced, feature-length, post-apocalyptic horror film was promoted primarily on it’s practical special effects, make-up and lack of computer-generated imagery (CGI). In this respect The Sky Has Fallen does not disappoint. Shot in Missouri and clearly influenced by Ryuhei Kitamura’s Yakuza/Zombie splatter-fest Versus (2000), The Sky Has Fallen combines elements from various horror subgenres and, whereas most would fail, Roos’ somehow manages to make everything work cohesively with only a few missteps.

“All practical FX. No CGI.”

PRESS PLAY ►

ActionSci-FiVideo Games

Red Faction (2001) PlayStation 2

Red Faction 2 (2001) PlayStation 2 CoverLured to Mars by the Ultor Corporation’s promise of a better life, thousands have come to seek their fortune and work for the massive mining company. But all is not as it seems. A deadly plague is sweeping through the barracks, and miners suffer daily abuse at the hands of Ultor guards.

Welcome to Mars; home to the Ultor Corporation. Through tyranny and oppression, the Ultor Corporation know no mercy or sympathy, operating outside the Jurisdiction of the Earth Defence Force (EDF).

“I’m right behind you. Betray me or try to run, and you’ll be the first to die.”

PRESS PLAY ►

BooksDramaFilmSci-FiThriller

The Hunger Games vs. Battle Royale

Battle Royale (2000)

My impression on first hearing about the hugely popular [young adult] book trilogy (and now mega money-making feature-film franchise) The Hunger Games was: ‘Hey, teenage contestants forced to fight to the death in a populist amusement engineered by a manipulative, despotic master of a dystopian future world? Wow, what an interesting idea! …But wait, isn’t that just like…’

“Life is a game. So fight for survival and see if you’re worth it.”

PRESS PLAY ►

DramaFilmHorrorSci-FiThriller

5 Must-See Modern Korean Horror Movies

A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)A Tale of Two Sisters (2003): From its eerie opening credits – indistinct ripples ebbing over green wallpaper – to the plot twists and revelations at its climax, ‘A Tale of Two Sisters’ is worthy of admission to the ranks of the best psychological horrors with greats such as ‘The Innocents’ or ‘The Others’.

“Do you know what’s really scary? You want to forget something. Totally wipe it off your mind. But you never can. It can’t go away, you see. And it follows you around like a ghost.”

PRESS PLAY ►

DramaFilmHorrorSci-FiThriller

7 Must-See Modern Japanese Horror Movies

Battle Royale (2000)

Battle Royale (2000): Enforcing the terms of the new ‘Battle Royale Act’ one class of ninth-grade students is selected annually by lottery and relocated to an isolated island, fitted with explosive collars, given random weapons and forced to participate in a 3-day survival competition in which the last student left alive is the winner.

“There’s a way out of this game. Kill yourselves together…here…now. If you can’t do that, then don’t trust anyone… just run.”

PRESS PLAY ►

DramaFilmHorrorSci-FiThriller

Dark Cinema: Horror from Japan and Korea

Ju-on: The Grudge (2002)

When a new era of Asian horror films entered mainstream Western cinema with Hideo Nakata’s ‘The Ring’, Asian horror movies were soon perceived to be chasing Hollywood’s more hackneyed horror efforts into the shadows.

“This kind of thing… it doesn’t start by one person telling a story. It’s more like everyone’s fear just takes on a life of its own.”

PRESS PLAY ►

DramaFantasyMartial Arts
ComedyExploitationFantasyHorror

6 Scariest Movies to Watch This Holiday Season

Chances are you won’t have a problem finding most of your favourite holiday films this year. Classics like A Charlie Brown Christmas are shown around the clock. While they’re all perfectly great movies, sometimes you just want something different. These are a few of the best holiday-themed horror movies that will probably make you scared of Santa.

“Better watch out… Better not cry… Or you may DIE!” PRESS PLAY ►

ActionAdventureDramaExploitationFilmHorrorSci-Fi

6 More Essential Japanese VHS Covers

Strike Commando (1987)

In 1971 JVC put together a team to develop a consumer-based VTR, but by early 1972 the video recording industry in Japan began to struggle financially. JVC was forced to restructure their video division, effectively shelving the VCR project. However, JVC engineers Yuma Shiraishi and Shizuo Takano continued to work on the project in secret. By 1973 the two engineers had produced a functional prototype.

“It feels nothing… it fears nothing… there is no escape.”

PRESS PLAY ►

ExploitationHorror

Dead Hooker in a Trunk (2009, Canada)

Set in Vancouver Dead Hooker in a Trunk is a unrelenting road movie; a exploitative wet dream where the audience are expected to expect the unexpected. The energy that extrudes from the screen is matched only by the Soska Sisters’ dark humour. An ambitious debut that deserves to be welcomed with open arms by any self-confessed consumer of violent cinema.

Tagline: “The whore in the boot was the least of their worries…” PRESS PLAY ►