Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the novel this is based off, because not everything can be about weaponizing an academic’s neurodiversity, and it’s fitting that the person who invented the Lost World genre got his story into the first monster movie. Not only does it help explain the complexity and depth of the characters, in the text if not in the movie, but also how this ended up being a key part of pop culture itself. This begot King Kong, which begot Godzilla, which begot every sci-fi technician for from 1955 to 1970, which bigot visual effect you’ve seen since. And, obviously, Jurassic World Dominion. On balance, I think we have to give him a pass for that…
Tag Archives: fantasy
Moonage Daydream (2022)
David Bowie has been dead for 7 years, but people are still desperate for any sliver of new information about him and his work; which is a bit weird given how much he liked to talk. So, if you are desperate for a couple of previous never-before-seen footage, and a bunch of bits you possibly forgot you have already seen, then this estate-approved might be for you. Or it could just be a nice trip down a rather clean memory lane.
Hey, anyone interested in an okayish mild-horror time filler designed to get everyone involved paid and some time on the SyFy Channel filled? Well, do I have a very middle-of-the-road bit of inoffensive tepid entertainment for you! Because much like the real world of bulk movie production, not everything you haven’t heard of can be joyfully bad or outrageously crazy. A lot of it just does the job it’s supposed to.
Orchestrator of Storms: The Fantastique World of Jean Rollin (2022)
I’d never heard of Jean Rollin before, so when this documentary about his life and work turned up I was rather excited to give it a go. As usual I had my notepad out, ready to jot down the odd movie that would be worth a look, but by halfway through I just assumed it safer to work through his filmography. I appreciate that a lot of effort when into making this a valid and informative collection of anecdotes and titbits for long-time fans, but I’m quite sure directors Dima Ballin and Kat Ellinger are going to take my uneducated reaction as a win.
Deathstalker (1983) is a terrible film
Quite often the phrase “for its time” is used when trying to evaluate movies, but I’ve no idea as to when the use of rape as narrative punctuation was ever considered an acceptable thing. I also appreciate that saying such things is a strong opening for a review, but when it’s in the lynchpin of the first, second, and every subsequent scene in this sword-and-sexual-assault fantasy its discussion needs to be as prominent as writer Howard R. Cohen and director James Sbardellati made it.
Violent Night (2022) is a must see classic.
The high-concept pitch for this is “Santa rescues a rich family from the clutches of armed criminals from the cut-and-weld version of Die Hard & Die Hard 2”. And if the recipient’s instant reaction wasn’t “KA-CHING£$!” they need to be fired. David Harbour is Santa McClane, and that covers half the bill by itself.
Dust Devil (1992)
There is a lot in common between my blog and the filmography of Richard Stanley. They’re both essentially uncommercial works, they are based on a love of cinema and belief in the scope of what movies can be, and they both rely on introspection interspersed with brutal violence. But whilst I do quick reads about other people’s work for free, he convinces people to give him millions of dollars to make two-hour gothic epics set in random deserts. Also; he once got driven crazy by Val Kilmer, but that’s a whole other story.
Dark Disciple (2016)
Allan Caggiano, who by his own admission has no formal training, set out with a four-person production crew to make a movie and for that I applaud him. He also said that “reviews (even the harsh ones) are greatly appreciated” so on the off change he gets to read this I hope he doesn’t think I’m being unfair with what’s about to be said. Making any kind of film is a soul-breaking task, and at the very least he brought into the world something that a group of us spent a pleasant hour and a half watching.
Bats (2021) is, against all odds, enjoyable nonsense
Chekov said “The role of the artist is to ask questions, not answer them” so Scott Jeffery (writer and co-director) has produced some of the purest art available because I can’t think of a single one of the 83 minutes of this movie in which I wasn’t going “what the fuck?” at the screen.
FairyTale: A True Story (1997)
As a long-time reader of The Fortean Times, and having a general interest in the more esoteric bits of social history, I was keen to find out what this dramatization of the Cottingley Fairies story would be like. I could remember it making some noise when it first came out, but that was mostly because it was a British costume drama that had some bits of CGI in it rather than because it was a great film. So I was also curious if was going to be bogged down with The Great British Worthiness that meant we had tried to pretend we never had a genre cinema industry after the 70s. Continue reading