The Kitchen (2019)


It’s big, it’s glitz, it’s starting three people I’ve heard of, and I only found out about it by it jumping up on Amazon Prime: yes, it’s another “as far as I know it’s straight to VoD” roll of the cinematic dice. I don’t normally watch gangster films, as they never catch my eye. So if one does make me interested I feel compelled to give it a go, because it deserves points for trying. Also, I really like the leads but would never have thought of putting them together like this.

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Killer Pinata (2015)


There is a grand tradition in the horror genre of random and ridiculous things getting possessed; Cars , Sofas , even lamps have been so afflicted, to varying levels of success. So let’s skip giggling at the pretext (even though it is joyfully stupid) and instead giggle at how funny this micro-budget comedy-horror is. Also, at how wonderfully messed up some of the ideas in this film are, as this is an effortlessly inventive bit of nonsense.
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Theatre Of Blood (1973) Is Wickedly Watchable

Not quite sure how I didn’t know that Vincent Price and Diana Rigg started in a film together and that they both considered it some of their finest work. Probably something to do with Theatre Of Blood being a modestly budgeted British film, done half a century ago, and them having over 250 screen credits between them. The important thing is that I watched it as soon as I found out about it, and by reading this So Can You!
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Class of 1984 (1982) is amazingly vulgar propaganda


The modern Vigilante movie, kicked off by Dirty Harry and perfected by Death Wish, has always carried with them a right-wing political subtext about the nature of society and the need for the individual to step in when the system fails. Well Mark L Lester, writer, director, and producer of this particular American conservative propaganda piece, thinks subtext is a communist conspiracy. He also thinks coherent settings are cowardice and subtlety is for pinko liberals, and this film is all the better for it.
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Don’t Panic! The remakes can’t hurt you if you don’t let them in

The Lost Boys is getting a remake, and thus my horror and movie feed has been filled with people throwing their arms up as they suddenly realise they are 30 years away from being culturally relevant. “Oh no!”, I imagine their little straw voices cry, “What if the girl is more than a lampshade with incredible hair? What if the music isn’t from my last carefree summer? What if there isn’t an overly long sequence with an oiled-up saxophonist? And what if it also doesn’t receive the universal acclaim that I think the original was given?” Continue reading

Candyman (2021) – Because the candy man can…


If there’s one thing horror cinema loves, it’s a reboot, remake, or sequel of a damn fine bit of cinema from a couple of decades ago. And if there’s one thing horror cinema is awful at, it’s making reboots, remakes, or sequels that are any good. They forget what made the original worth watching, add nothing to the narrative, or alienate fans of the original. Well, good news for all: whatever Candyman 2021 is, it’s a damn fine follow-up to Candyman 1992.
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Mulberry Street (2006)

A regular criticism I hear about zombie movies is that “no one does anything different with them”. This annoys me for three main reasons; firstly, that there could be anything wrong with the classic plot of “people fine, zombies turn up, zombies eat people”. Secondly, because there is a massive difference between plot and story and it’s pointlessly reductive to confuse them (“person commits crime, they think they go away with it, turns out they didn’t”, I’ve saved you watching everything from Hound of the Baskervilles to Wolf of Wall Street), And thirdly because it’s so ignorant of all the amazing work that’s been done in the genre, even within the “confines” of it’s three-act framework.
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Gory Gory Hallelujah (2003)


Pitching itself as “an apocalyptic fairy fail”, and featuring the praise of both Llyod Kaufman (head of Troma Studios and psychotronic cinema royalty) and Richard Elfman (brother of Danny), I had never heard of this film until my father-in-law dropped it off as one of his £1 charity shop finds. Whilst the ridiculous cover drew me in, I was also interested by it being a “Von Piglet Sisters” movie. I wanted to see what director/producer Sue Corcoran and writer Angie Louise could come up with, as female created films are still less uncommon in Bargain Bin genre flicks, so sat down in anticipation and wondered “how crazy could this be?”
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Killers (1996)


It’s safe to say that Mike Mendez is not a household name when it comes to directors. Despite having had two films included in the Sundance Festival, 2000’s The Convent and this review’s 1996 Killers, he has significantly more credits as an editor for TV and documentaries. The only two films you are likely to have heard of by him are 2013’s Big Ass Spider!, because of that name, and 2016’s The Last Heist, because Henry Rollins is the bad guy in it. Killers, his first movie as director and writer, probably demonstrates both why he isn’t that well known and also why people keep on letting him make films.
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Vampires vs. the Bronx (2020)


Due to the hole in the market left by broadcast media no longer running Halloween horror marathons, over the last couple of years Netflix has regularly dropped spooky movies under its Originals brand at the start of October. It started around 2016 with I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, a well-received, high-brow gothic horror. Since then, their annual offering has switched between high-brow (Apostle) and gory-camp (The Babysitter), but has constantly focused on the adult audiences. This year, with Osmany Rodriguez as writer and director, they have brought us something a lot more family-friendly in the shape of Vampires vs. the Bronx.
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