Fans of writer-director Patryk Vega’s Mafia Women, rejoice! There’s a sequel to the film I called “unbelievably bad” in this very space, and it’s titled, appropriately, Women of Mafia 2 (or Mafia Women 2, depending on your Polish-to-English translation). You’ll be pleased to know that Women of Mafia 2 has quite a lot in common with the first film, including graphic violence, frontal nudity, and a script so nonsensical that the writing must have been outsourced to the proverbial primate with a typewriter, minus the infinite timeline.
In our rush to analyse, dissect and debate, we often forget that one of the functions of art, in this case cinematic art, is simply to give pleasure. Pleasure is subjective – what might give you pleasure might not appeal to someone else. It’s futile to disagree on this point unless of course, we can all exchange opinions in ways that might be mutually enlightening. Some of the most fascinating conversations I’ve had with cinephiles is when they enthuse about the films that made them fall in love with the medium. It is that which has prompted me to discuss some of the ‘films that made me’…
“There are angels on the streets of Berlin.”
While you don’t need to take a ball-peen hammer to the forehead to enjoy Patryk Vega’s film Mafia Women (aka Women of Mafia), it sure would help. The movie’s biggest failure is the unbelievably bad plot, which would be laughable if so much money hadn’t been spent trying to turn such a cinematic sow’s ear into the semblance of a silk purse. The only reason why certain characters survived the events of the film was because everyone around them made so many stupid, unintelligible decisions…
“Marie Curie discovered radium and polonium, and you think women can’t make drugs?”
It is safe to say that this is cinematic artistry at its very best. This horror, although silent, screams of an unhinged nightmare full off vivid expressionistic imagery. From the beginning the film’s soundtrack alerts the viewer that something dark and sinister is on the cards. The set is the work of a mastermind and with the scenery being uneven and far from any utopian environment, this is reflected in the twisted music.
“Dr. Caligari and his mysterious slave – the black and white phantom who lives in a cabinet and goes forth in his sleep to do his master’s bidding.”
Botoks is unafraid to address controversial subjects like abortion, though it does so in a way that might charitably be described as clumsy. For example, an OB-GYN doctor manipulates the system to allow a woman to abort her 22-week-old baby, and the wriggling, mewling child, having survived the procedure, is placed on a metal tray in an empty room to die. This is considered Standard Operating Procedure, apparently. Later in the movie, when the doctor herself gets pregnant, she has a change of heart and refuses to perform any more abortions. She then gets fired by her amoral male boss.
“What the fuck is going on in this hospital?”
For years fans waited for the release of a sequel to Ruggero Deodato’s trendsetting Cannibal Holocaust, yet it would take almost a decade for The Green Inferno to arrive… and it wasn’t what followers of the Italian cannibal cycle were expecting.
First there was Cannibal Holocaust… Then came Cannibal Ferox… But somewhere in France, someone was already hatching a plot to cash-in on the Italian intestinal classics with Cannibal Terror!
“The thirst for adventure!”
In March 2019 Arrow Video is re-releasing Hideo Nakata’s Ringu in celebration of its 20th anniversary; restored from the original negative in vivid high definition.
Ringu is based on a novel by Koji Suzuki, (known as the ‘Japanese Stephen King’) and for any western viewer this film is the starting point for any exploration of modern Asian horror.
“How did the rumours about the video even start in the first place? 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.”
Written and directed by Shinichiro Ueda, One Cut of the Dead begins with an impressive 37 minute long take set in an abandoned Japanese water filtration plant. “It’s just an urban legend… On record, this place was built for water filtration. But the Japanese army used here for some sort of experimentation… Human experimentation. Like…bringing the dead back to life.” Shinichiro Ueda’s movie injects the zombie trope with new life; thus reanimating the sub-genre. This is not Dawn of the Dead, nor is it Shaun of the Dead. Instead, One Cut of the Dead celebrates low-budget filmmaking.
“Making a zombie movie, on a live broadcast, in one take?”
Growing up isn’t easy and if I’m honest, I’m still having trouble coming to terms with it. But sometimes the decision to live as an eternal kidult is taken away from us, with youngsters shouldering the responsibility of primary caregiver. Such is the case for twelve year old Jonas, who finds the transition to enforced adulthood a struggle in Mara Eibl-Eibesfeldt’s bittersweet gothic fable The Spiderwebhouse. Gentle and ponderous The Spiderwebhouse is a charming portrayal, exploring the complexities of depression, and the harshness of a world as seen through a child’s eyes.
“Oh spider, oh spider, oh bring me to the place where I’m not.”
Helmed by the iconic and groundbreaking director Lo Wei, Jackie Chan was at his martial art peak by the time he took on the leading man role in Dragon Fist (1979). To Kill with Intrigue (1977), however, is undoubtedly one of the martial arts legend’s finest moments! Only 88 Films could have brought a 2K restoration of Dragon Fist and To Kill with Intrigue to UK Blu-ray as part of their ever-expanding and acclaimed Asian cinema collection!
“A new era in kung-fu films!”
One Cut of the Dead opens in a run-down, abandoned warehouse where a film crew are making a zombie film… Yet, this is no ordinary warehouse. It’s been said that this warehouse is the site where military experiments once took place…
“Don’t stop shooting!”
Liverpool Horror Club (LHC) and Two-Headed Snake Entertainment presented their second The Dead of Night Film Festival – this time in Liverpool – and like all LHC events there was a great club atmosphere where everyone is friendly, and you can chat to the people involved in the festival and the films.