The Howling (1981)


One more unto the horror-series-that-won’t-die breach, and this time it’s the furry favourite of The Howling series. Eight movies over a 30-year time span (so far), all kicked off by the eponymously titled 1977 best seller which doesn’t actually get made into a movie till Part IV. Still, the first movie meant that director Joe Dante and producer Michael Finnell got to make Gremlins three years later, so it can’t all be bad.
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The VelociPastor (2019)


Yes, I know this was the talk of the psychotronic town a couple of years ago. I was too busy watching other junk to get around to it, and I’ve got a weird (possibly anti-hipster) aversion to popular B-Movies, so that’s another cheap newscycle I missed out on. Anyway, I’m here and I’m sorry I missed the start of the party because, holy heck, this is one fun movie. Continue reading

This Island, Earth (1955) did not age well


I took another chance on a Sexagenarian classic of cinema, to see if it holds up as well as it did when I saw it aged 8, and the answer is “Not really, but it did look pretty”. Obviously frontloading a review with that information is going to cut down on the number of people reading on, but after this movie mucked me around for 86 minutes it would be unfair to not cut to the chase here.
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Infestation (2009)


It’s always a gamble to seek out and watch movies that are on the margins of quality; they could have their middling, C-grade rating because the work doesn’t gel with that wide an audience, or because the makers were trying something new and exciting and just missed the mark. B+ rated movies are a known quantity, it’s most likely that they are going to be good at what they are doing from the offset, and any issues are just going to be personal preference. D- films are just punishment for punishments’ sake, something you watch for pure snark or irony. But the middle ground is when hitting “play” becomes an adventure in its own right; an exciting land where things can go either way…
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Space Amoeba (1970)


The classic Japanese monster movie has a pretty set formula: monster exists, monster causes moderate levels of destruction in far off place, mankind looks at it and goes “Shiiitttt!”, the monster moves to a highly-populated area and causes massive amounts of damage, and mankind somehow pulls its arse out of the monster-induced fire. Whilst this is absolutely perfect plot progression, especially if it has municipal destruction that you can really see the behemoth emote through, sometimes you just want something different. Some kind of large-scale annihilation je ne sais pas to spice things up.
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The Tomb: Devil’s Revenge (2020)


What’s better than a self-proclaimed action-horror B-movie? One that’s got William Shatner in a starring role and as a producer? And what’s even better than that? One where he seems to have got the producer credit by pulling in his Star Trek TNG contacts to be in front and behind the cameras. Yes, it’s a modestly budgeted three-act fun-timer set to “traditional tropes”, but it’s also playing with some expectations. The story focuses on John – also known as Sergio (Jason Brooks), an archaeologist who spends his time pot-holing in Kansas to try and find the relic that has cursed his family for generations. Great for trying to keep his heartless and unloving father (William Shatner) happy, not so great for his long-suffering wife Susan (Jeri Ryan) or his red-shirted caving assistants. What’s the curse and where does it come from? Well, that’s not quite clear. But you don’t need to know that, only that it’s enough of a McGuffin to get everyone worried enough to put themselves in danger for our amusement.
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Deep Blue Sea 3 (2020) –


The sequel to the 2018 Deep Blue Sea 2 that few remember, which itself was a sequel to the 1999 Deep Blue Sea that many remember as being about genetically engineered killer sharks, is out on disc, and it’s time for everyone to quietly scoff at the silliness of the idea just like they have for the last 20 years. Inevitably people will chortle “It’s never going to be as good as Jaws”, because apparently 1975 was when “scary things in the water” films hit their absolute zenith, never to return. And, yes, if you want to compare it to one of the most perfectly crafted thriller movies ever put on the big screen, then it won’t stand up to it. But that’s because this is a slasher film, a totally different beast (as it were), and it’s playing, and winning, by a very different set of rules.
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The Beach Girls and The Monster (1965)


There are some films where you just know the producer hammered two random things together in the hopes that the result would be entertaining. Snakes and planes, sharks and tornadoes, Nazis and any excuse to see them brutalised. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and sometimes it doesn’t work on a level that just fills you with awe at the majestic beauty of how misshapen and proud the final creation is. There is no way you can convince me that the people behind “Beach Girls And The Monster” knew what they were doing, on any level, as no one could ever intentionally put together such an epic piece of ridiculousness. They just went “people like Beach Girls and Monsters… now go and write that script”.
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Gōjira (1954) & Godzilla: King Of The Monsters (1956)

It’s hard to come up with anything new and exciting to say about Gōjira (1954), because it’s such a pivotal piece of pop culture that there is very little new ground to tread. It wasn’t the world’s first Monster Movie (that goes to the equally important King Kong in 1933) or the first kaiju film (that’s The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms 1953), but it was the benchmark of the genre of that era and the go-to comparison from there on. Not only did it rake in the cash and start the longest running film franchise in history, but it managed to do so whilst working with a number of contemporary themes. Everyone knows about the allegory of nuclear war, both in the forces unleashed by Gōjira on Japan and the reasons for his rising from the depths. Director Ishirō Honda has gone on record as saying he was a walking nuclear bomb, and that the film mixed messages of a need for peace and the horrors of the weapons usage. It was trauma and catharsis for Japanese viewers, and eventually for the rest of the world.
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Godmonster of Indiana Flats (1973)

This one was suggested to me by a chum called Rhys Roberts. This proves two things: firstly, that I haven’t heard of every strange film on the planet and thus am always willing to give them a go when someone recommends one. Secondly, that Rhys is a cruel and terrible person. The auteur behind it was world-renowned artist Fredric Hobbs, pioneer of ART ECO and Parade Sculpture, and this movie is a testament as to why probably you haven’t heard of any of his cinematic works.

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