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.
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.”
Insecure fashion photographer Adrian decides he has had enough rejection, ridicule, and being ignored. He decides to get his revenge by concocting a photoshoot with several of the attractive models who abused him. Only in this photoshoot it’s survival of the fittest, as he pits girl against girl in more and more extreme scenarios until all of them are dead! But this demented photographer is in for a surprise… Six Hot Chicks in a Warehouse promises lots of brutal action and gore, as one man’s sick fantasy for revenge turns into a bloody, all-female fighting tournament!
“A bloody knockout.”
Based upon Sébastien Japrisot’s 1977 novel of the same name, L’Été meurtrier – or as it is known in English speaking territories, One Deadly Summer – stars Isabelle Adjani as Eliane “Elle” Wieck; a troubled young woman who settles with her family into the small rural town in the south of France.
“All he wants is to get her stupid knickers off, and all that she wants is that he manages. And that he doesn’t get his fingers caught in the zip. Just to forget for a moment that he is the son… of that piece of shit bastard father of his.”
Back in 2015, Ted Geoghegan released his directorial debut We Are Still Here and took a lot of people by surprise, including myself. A well-crafted horror that didn’t follow the same old cliches that a lot of horrors do today. His follow up, Mohawk, is kind of following the same route. Not so much a horror this time, but a film that depicts plenty of horrors and a complete diversion from his previous movie. The tale follows the events of 1812 where war is boiling over between the Americans and the British. Sandwiched in between is the Mohawk tribe who reluctantly refuse to take sides or fight.
“They’re gonna kill us all if we don’t fight.”
The Nightingale follows Clare, an Irish convict who is regularly abused by vile British officer Hawkins, eventually resulting in her husband and new-born infant being murdered in front of her while she is being gang raped in an excruciatingly long and graphic scene. When Hawkins abandons his post due to the drunkenness of his men and journeys up north to apply for another post, Clare sets out to exact her own revenge. She brings along a native guide named Billy, who she treats unfairly. Billy is the only character who prevents this film from being a period based I Spit on Your Grave…
“Her song will not be silenced.”
Japanese wannabe actress Mayumi is abducted by an absolute nut-job called Vendenski and his hysterically seedy cult – Capital Messiah. They’re feared throughout the criminal community for reasons that are beyond me, but nobody seems to be able to touch them, until Mayumi’s brother, Kenji, travels over in search of his missing sister. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention Kenji is a Karate Master, wouldn’t you just know it? This now sets the wheels in motion for Kenji to stroll around L.A. all brooding and a fish out of water, but cracking skulls as he’s doing it.
“He is no Mr. Miyagi.”
I’m not a fan of action films. You know the ones, purely ‘Action’. I hate car chases. DESPISE ‘em! I hate things exploding left, right and centre. I hate overly-long gunfights. They annoy me and make me all fidgety. John Wick is an action/thriller, directed by two stunt men and stars Keanu Reeves. “WHY ARE YOU WATCHING THIS, YOU FUCKING MASOCHIST?!!” I hear you shout, and you’d be right to ask. I dunno. But I’m SO glad that I did! John Wick is an ex-hitman, grieving for his recently deceased wife. When the son of a mob boss takes a liking to Wick’s car and decides to take it, bad things happen.
“Revenge is all he has left.”
In You Were Never Really Here, Lynne Ramsay explores the themes of abuse, violence, trauma and the corruption inherent in the powerful elite. She has re-fashioned the narrative and plot without diminishing its brutal impact, and elevated what might have been a conventional revenge flick by sheer filmmaking skill. The action of the film accelerates and ultimately concludes without necessarily developing in the conventional way. In You Were Never Really Here, Ramsay has managed to translate her singular vision into a complex, but compelling, feature film.
“I want you to hurt them.”
Grimmfest, screening the best in fantastic film, took place at Vue Printworks, Manchester, UK between 5th-8th October 2017. Overall this was a brilliant event where I enjoyed all but one film and even that was only a short, so it wasn’t too bad.
“Grimm up North.”
The South Korean film industry has enjoyed a twenty year renaissance especially in the thriller/horror/gore genres. The release of Oldboy (2003) put South Korean cinema back on the map, after seeing its once glorious traditions wane for many years. I Saw the Devil is the penultimate representative of this new style of Korean cinema, with acting, cinematography, direction and production values equal to any of the world’s leading movie centers.
“Don’t act so weak… this is just the beginning. Remember… your nightmare’s only getting worse!”
Grave Tales is a collection of eight short stories by Craig Jex, writer of the exploitative, EC Comic styled Brutal Bombshells. Written over a period of twelve years each short story is drenched in sticky crimson red, bookended with two highly exploitative tales of terror.
Grave Tales may be a short read at only 69 pages, but it is one collection that will grab you by the throat and won’t let go until your eyes burst from their sockets!