Prince and his band bring the Grammy Nominated Album Sign ‘☮’ the Times (1987) to life in what is one of the greatest concert films ever made. Although the album of the same name is now broadly recognised as the pinnacle of Prince’s musical achievements, initial sales failed to reach the heights of Purple Rain. The idea of a concert film was soon formed, in order to promote the album to American audiences in theatres.
A Zombie Christmas Musical… Anna and the Apocalypse has it all, and no doubt that’s why it took 6 years to make after the release of the short film Zombie Musical. Sadly one of the writers (Ryan McHenry) died before this 2017 Scottish film was released and it never received a UK cinema run. So unless you are a fan of the genre who travels to independent festivals you may never have heard of it. But, you should do. The zombies and special effects are great with plenty of gore and some really interesting fight scenes; particularly in the bowling alley which is where my favourite kill takes place.
“She’ll Slash. She’ll Stab. She’ll Sing.”
I’m well into my 30’s now. That means I was lucky enough to be in my pre-teens when Fred Dekker was still directing films and TV. He may be known by most people as either the director of the entertaining Night of the Creeps or calamitous Robocop 3, but sandwiched in between these two totally dissimilar yarns was 1987’s The Monster Squad.
The titular “Monster Squad” is a small group of horror-loving kids, led by Sean, who run their affairs from a poster-adorned treehouse.
“You know who to call when you have ghosts. But who do you call when you have monsters?”
As a boy, Harry Stadling worshipped Santa Claus – until he caught his mommy rockin’ around the Christmas tree with him. Now all grown-up and his memories of the holiday’s forever twisted, Harry decides to hit the streets, spreading some blood-soaked Christmas cheer of his own…
“Forget White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life and all the other hackneyed trash,” declared auteur of outrage, John Waters, “Go for the best seasonal film of all-time: Christmas Evil!”
“Better watch out… Better not cry… Or you may DIE!”
The terrifying spectre of ‘The Hangman’ returns in this nightmarish sequel to smash-hit supernatural thriller The Gallows.
When Auna Rue, a teenage vlogger and aspiring actress, logs onto a sinister website, she’s soon trapped in the malevolent world of cursed stage play, The Gallows. After performing a passage from the play for her tiny online fan base, Auna instantly achieves the stardom she seeks – as well as a twisted challenge from the deadly spirit of The Hangman himself…
“Evil chooses you.”
There can be few things as psychologically damaging as being trapped in solitary confinement with someone you hate. For his follow-up to The Witch, Robert Eggers delivers a grim, hallucinatory story about two men shut up in a lighthouse tower, going slowly mad in their mutual loathing. Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson are Tom Wake and Ephraim Winslow – arriving to work for a month-long shift at a remote, rain-lashed lighthouse, somewhere off the coast of 19th century Maine. Wake is a veteran lighthouse keeper (wickie), as salty a sea dog as one might wish to meet…
“There is enchantment in the light.”
There’s a very poignant line given by a therapist to character Arthur Fleck in the movie Joker that basically sums up its overall message: “Nobody gives a fuck about people like you.” The character of the Joker has been featured on screen four times previously, but this is the biggest change in dynamics than ever seen before. So too is the environments those previous incarnations have played in. This time around there’s no mention of superheroes or capes. This is the most grounded, gritty and most realistic take on the character and the city of Gotham ever.
“Put on a happy face.”
Rian Johnson is a director, writer and musician, but primarily one of the most unique, inventive and sometimes controversial, filmmakers currently active in both film and TV. In Brick, Johnson coaxed uniformly outstanding performances from a young cast, most obviously an assured and compelling turn from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, earmarking the young actor as one to be watched (a prediction that has since been eminently fulfilled). However, the movie’s most arresting strength is a script that reads almost like Shakespearean dialogue and sounds like music.
“A detective story.”
Do you want to get your hands on all three Escape Plan prison break thrillers? Attack from Planet B and Signature Entertainment have a copy of Escape Plan: The Ultimate Trilogy available on DVD to giveaway (UK only).
The Escape Plan franchise offers the same sort of excessive, over-the-top action that we have come to expect from Sylvester Stallone, with enough hand-to-hand combat to satisfy fans of 1980s action fare. Directed by John Herzfeld, Escape Plan 3 sees Stallone return as security expert Ray Breslin.
Competition ends Wednesday 4th September 2019
Unlike Escape Plan or its sequel, Escape Plan 3 strips away all elements of science fiction and instead injects realism into this dramatic tale of revenge. And whilst Escape Plan 2 left us with certain expectations as to where the third installment was headed, the organisation responsible for “The Tomb” and “Hades” – now known to be Zhang Innovations – is not central to the plot of Escape Plan 3. That distinction is instead given to Devon Sawa’s character, Lester Clark Jr. Because of this, its likely that Escape Plan 3 – previously marketed as the final installment – will receive a fourth outing.
“I’m done with prisons.”
Five years after the nostalgia trip that was Escape Plan – a dream team of 80s action muscle; specifically Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger – its sequel, imaginatively titled Escape Plan 2, replaces Schwarzenegger with former professional wrestler, Dave Bautista and Xiaoming Huang. Escape Plan 2 is a sequel that Stallone himself has called “beyond awful”, and yet I have to admit that I actually quite enjoyed watching it for the same reasons I enjoyed its predecessor: its excessive, over-the-top action; although this time there is a lot more martial artistry, courtesy of Xiaoming Huang.
“This isn’t a prison. It’s a machine.”
Revenge is coming as ex-mobster Nicolas Cage takes to the streets in gritty action-thriller A Score to Settle; directed by Shawn Ku and written by John Stewart Newman.
After being paid-off to take a murder rap, Frank receives an unexpected life sentence and spends the next two decades locked behind bars. After receiving a terminal diagnosis, he walks out of prison to live his final days as a free man, but with a thirst for revenge against those who wronged him.