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.
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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.
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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

Loki (2021) – Season One, Episode One “Glorious Purpose” Review

It’s another season of Marvel TV, so it’s time to go through the all-important mythos introductions with this first episode. In this case, the titular character is pretty straightforward as Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has been with us since his Marvel cinematic debut with Thor in 2011. He’s charming, arrogant, happy to knife anyone that gets in his way, and his helmet is still both utterly ridiculous and fashionably dashing. The only minor complication is that the Loki we have here is the defeated mischievous god at the end of Avengers Assemble, rather than the emotionally evolved one we saw die in Infinity War. But don’t worry about that, as this is just Marvel Universe 199999, introducing us to the fun multiverse shenanigans that Universe 616 has been dealing with for ages.
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Ink (2009)

Ink is a 2009 indie film; written, directed, executive produced, composed, and edited by Jamin Winans. It’s billed as “a Wonderful Life meets Sin City” and a “high-concept visual thriller”, and is a passion project that tells a story about a mysterious creature called Ink, two mysterious forces battling for the fate of a girl, and the redemption of an ill-fated father. This $250,000 budget film has managed to gain 86 ten-star reviews on IMDB.com since its release, and for the life of me I can’t work out why, because it’s pompous, dull, and irredeemable Trash. I appreciate that it’s harsh to cut straight to the final score, but given how bloated and overlong the film was, I felt I had to restore some kind of cosmic balance. Maybe if you value the ratings given out here then the time saved not reading the rest of the review could make up for the time wasted watching the film. If not, here’s some nice things before the meat of its problems.
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The 5 Uwe Boll Ball Movies Ranked

Before we start, two observations that apply to all of these films and need to be addressed.

Firstly, they all look very good. Both in terms of production values and how they are shot, all of the movies show a surprisingly high level of technical ability within the crew. The cast are, mostly, similarly talented. Whilst there are a couple of bad performances, most are quite good IF you ignore the material they have to deal with. These are multimillion-dollar productions, and they have the look and feel of multimillion-dollar productions that don’t sap your will to watch. As such, any and all criticism has to be placed directly at the feet of the director and producer, Uwe Boll, for the active decision to make such god-awful movies when they could so very easily have made perfectly okay ones.

Secondly, the sex scenes are atrocious. They are not sexy, most of them are not needed, there is next to no chemistry between anyone involved, and even the ones that you can just about accept as part of the plot are excessively long to the point of dullness. These films were obviously made with a predetermined boob quota and the assumption that showing a breast is, in and of itself, erotically charged. The most pointless was in Along In The Dark, as it could have been cut from the film and made zero impact on any of the story even though it involved two of the main characters. The most offensive was in BloodRayne 3; wherein the hero and unconscious heroine in a van taking them to a concentration camp, with zero romantic build-up, decide to have wild, freaky sex because he groped her whilst she was unconscious. Everything else is somewhere between those two points, and all are down to “artistic” decisions Uwe Boll made.
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Doom Patrol Season One (2019)

Doom Patrol is finally to be available for streaming in the UK, via the Amazon Prime sub-subscription service StarzPlay. So, after raving so hard about The Pilot at launch on DCUniverse (and then watching it all again on Blu-Ray), it was time to do the season review.

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Klaus (2019)

Christmas is here, so Netflix has launched its first feature-length animation to its holiday-offensive arsenal in the form of “Klaus”. Aimed firmly at the family market, it’s the directorial debut of Disney alumni Sergio Pablos and his Madrid-based animation studio that offers heartfelt fun and an alternative take on the origin of Santa. The film is a melting pot on two key fronts: firstly with its international production staff and secondly with its blend of hand-drawn frames being assisted by computer lighting. So, how well does it work out?
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IT: Chapter 2 (2019)

It’s a truth accepted in the horror world that any essential addition to the cannon can expect to get a not-quite-as-essential sequel a couple of years later. Something that tries to hit all the same notes of the classic, and add something to the story, but that just never gets as good as the first outing. Halloween did it by picking up a minute after the original; Hellraiser did it by adding in background plot; Friday 13th did it by switching metaphorical investigation, and now IT has tried to do it by running what feels like a lot of the same story with adults. It has a pretty good swing at it, all told, but it just never manages to reach the heights of the near perfect Chapter One.
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Six String Samurai (1998) Buddy Holly, Nuclear Mutants, and Fancy Swords

When people describe a film as having “a singular vision”, they normally mean something like the perfection of The Godfather, the scale of Heaven’s Gate, or the symbolism of 2001: A Space Oddity. They normally don’t mean “so bugnuts crazy, that it’s the only example of its genre ever likely to exist”, but Lance Mungia’s 1998 independent work Six String Samurai can only be described as such, because if there exists another post-apocalyptic samurai rock ‘n’ roll road movie homage of the book the Wizard of Oz, then I sure as hell don’t know about it – and trust me, I’ve looked!. Having seen it, you’ll understand why it’s a both a pity and a grace that this is the case, because it does what it sets out to do with so much style and swagger, and you’ll be convinced that no other attempt could ever get it so right.
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