Archive for the ‘Animated Madness’ Category

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When the wife’s away…
the movies will play.
 Somehow I’ve found myself home alone, with a few days free of work and responsibilities. What better way to spend my time than to catch up on my consumption of celluloid. Seriously I have towering DVD stacks everywhere and screeners collectively screaming for my attention.
Here’s to cramming my eyeballs full of moving images and my face full of unhealthy edibles.
(Note; To keep things interesting I’ve drenched my retinas into cinema plucked from many a genre.)
Onwards…
Day One
gunslingers revenge

The DVD cover

Gunslingers Revenge (1998)
Director – Giovanni Veronesi
Writer – Vincenzo Pardini (based on his novel) adapted by Giovanni Veronesi and Leonardo Pieraccioni
Runtime – 87 minutes
 
Interesting dynamic and a charming narrative by way of a seven year old. Filled with intriguing characters and beautiful scenery the story that covers what most Westerns haven’t.
Reminiscent of foreign cult affairs on account of characters exchanging dialogue where the lips don’t seem to match the words coming out.
The soundtrack lends the feature somewhat of a Disney family-oriented air though the film still has undeniable qualities and elements leaning towards at times the slightly eccentric/odd.
Did I mention David Bowie and Harvey Kietel are among the actors? And that there’s very little blood.
Consider this a pallet cleanser, of sorts.
6.5
 
the eyes of my mother

The DVD cover

The Eyes of my Mother (2016)
Director/Writer – Nicholas Pesce
Runtime – 76 minutes
 
Black and white and often subtitled.
Chilling, stylistic and dark. 
Minimalistic in its approach but powerful and cleverly constructed with a myriad of plot intricacies (nods to an early work by D’Amato) both horrific and shocking to widen the viewers eyes and get the mind reeling. One scene in particular is extremely difficult to watch especially for parents of an infant.
The soundtrack is also barely apparent buy when it makes an appearance it lends a remarkable texture and ominous vibe.
Hardly for everyone, this is a must for those yearning for celluloid dripping in classic values and an undeniable menacing and grotesque tone.
If you liked Audition and Grotesque this is a must watch.
8.5
animal world

Alternate versions of the poster art

Animal World (2018)
Director – Yan Han
Writer – Yan Han based on the comic by Nobuyuki Fukumoto
Runtime – 130 minutes
 
Barely five minutes in and my jaw has hit the floor. Thus far this is visually stunning and bears the surreal nature of a video game. Psychosis and hallucinations don’t mix well in the everyday world that much is for certain, even this far in.
The movie soon transforms to show the pitfalls of debt and some of the many ways a diabolical bank might be able to recoup their losses, it also boasts a tech puzzle type atmosphere complete with high stakes, drama, karma, retribution and camaraderie.
Clowns, rock paper and scissors and debt who would’ve thought these would be the ideal ingredients for a film with such transfixing properties. It’s as though the most oddball elements were plucked from a randomizer machine then tossed together for bragging rights upon completion of a finished product.
Fans of The Prestige and Can You See Me Now will eat this up its delightfully different, cavernous and teases a sequel that can’t come soon enough.
8.5
Revenge for Jolly (Copy)

The DVD art

Revenge for Jolly (2012)
Director – Chad Harbold
Writer – Brian Petsos
Runtime – 81 minutes
 
Here’s something a little different; a vengeance movie centered around the murder of Jolly, a dog. Hilarious dialogue and hilarity abounds as two friends, and too many beers to count, set out on a small town quest to find those responsible. Awkwardness and apathy reign supreme within a slow pace that remains oddly intriguing throughout.
I laughed hard at the inept Italian law firm scene and the name Bobby being referred to as Booby, on purpose, for dramatic affect. The “…you just can’t throw ranch” meltdown is priceless. A nod to Reservoir Dogs in unmistakable.
Recommended for fans of off-beat (black) comedy with observational elements in a similar vein to Observe, Report and in times Boondock Saints but with tendencies that lean more towards the macabre.
8
the minds eye

Promo art

The Minds Eye (2015)
Director/Writer – Joe Begos
Runtime – 87 minutes
 
Psychokinesis hasn’t been tackled in too many films, although Firestarter, Carrie and Scanners come immediately to mind. The Minds Eye takes on the prospect and adds Cronenberg esque qualities and synth as a huge part of the soundtrack the quality of which would put a smile on Carpenters face. 
The movie rolls at a quick pace and gives off an initial X-men vibe which soon twists into something else altogether.
Super powers, maniacal aspirations and some serious cat and mouse antics.
Excellent effects add to the fun alongside direction, writing that acting chops that harken back to the heyday of 80’s horror much in a similar style to the exceptional caliber of work that the Astron 6 team continue to produce. 
I highly recommended giving this a peek, it certainly escaped my radar but now that I’ve let it invade my senses I’ll continue to lay praise upon it.
9
The Following Day
Duel
Duel (2016)
Director – Kieran Darcy-Smith
Writer – Matt Cook
Runtime – 110 minutes
Well written, atmospheric, excellently composed and seething with an unmistakable ominous tone.
A chilling performance from Woody (Did-you-know-I-was-in-Cheers) Harrelson adds weight to a story that’s part cat-n-mouse, part cult worship and oddly topical given the current political climate we find ourselves in.
A dark, bloody and gritty western with an added element of history and plenty of classic quotes that’s entertaining throughout.
7.5
 
1088full-[rec]-3_-genesis-poster

And what a wedding invite this made

Rec 3 – Genesis (2012)
Director – Paco Plaza
Writer – Paco Plaza, David Gallart, Luiso Berdejo, 
Runtime – 80 minutes
 
The homemade caught on video aspect (at a wedding) lends the film huge relateability as the participants are in an everyday setting, not actors on set. The action starts abruptly, panic seizes the gathering and the viewer is left in a dizzying state by way of the unsteady POV. Although this does change the POV aspect still flickers in and out.
A Rage approach rather than the lumbering “She’s coming to get you Barbara” adds tension and naturally… pace.
Humor arises by way of family idiosyncrasies and relationships (not to mention Sponge John, Bob had obvious copyright issues) as well the religious element that some believe is the cause while others have faith in being saved purely because they are in a place of worship and the undead are heathens, heretics or devils who abide by the teachings of the church.
It rains  which is ironic as it’s supposed to be lucky if it rains on your wedding day.
A scorned bride with a chainsaw, a knight in shining armor, a delightful spin on the zombie mythos, clever writing and camera work and great FX gives this the edge it needs to stand out from an overcrowded genre which, much like those within it, refuses to perish.
Better yet “Fuck my grandfather and his stupid fucking hearing aid” is a quote for the ages, priceless in fact. REC 3’s climax is bloody great! In more ways than one making this a feature I will return to again and again.
8.5
fantasy mission force

The German DVD cover

Fantasy Mission Force aka Dragon Attack (1983)
Director – Yen-Ping Chu (billed as Harry Weng)
Writer – Hsin Wei
Runtime – 85 minutes
An elite team are assembled from across the globe to assist in a tricky hostage situation, apart from that I’m quite honestly lost as the editing herein is far from stupendous (in the truncated version I watched anyway).
Delightfully over the top, slapstick silliness (recalling classic Laural and Hardy and Benny Hill) sporting insane dubbing and choppy nonsensical editing it remains entertaining all the while screaming 80’s Asian cinema.
For a Jackie Chan feature there’s actually very little of him but shit, there’s scenes including traditional Chinese ghosts, Mad Max nods, Shaolin antics, scenes of defined western homage and other assorted tomfoolery to carve a smile on even the most rigid of features.
I’m placing this in the guilty pleasures folder as this film is undeniably a crazy mess, in actuality most of it could double as a Mentos commercial, but I’m lovin’ it nevertheless.
7.5
where the dead go to die

Blu ray art

Where the Dead go to Die (2012)
Writer/Director – Jimmy Screamerclauz
Runtime – 96 minutes
 
Computer animation that leaves a lot to be desired is anything but family friendly. Divided into chapters the feature is centered around a few children all living on the same block. As it progresses it covers a slew of utterly unsavory subjects. An evil dog, not Mr.Pickles, tempts a youth, and the films other youths, to do his diabolical bidding based on quasi-religious principles.
Tainted Milk is a glorious mind fuck complete with fetus ripping, an emasculation, zoo-aphilia antics and hallucinogenic elements complete with nods to the mind controlling power of religion. 
Liquid Memories is Lovecraftian-esque and revolves around capturing lost memories through brain extraction. Other segment include an amputee vets nightmarish PTSD flashbacks and the physical manifestation of a relapse. 
The resulting predicament of injecting ‘memories’ is horrific and spurns a breakdown that’s incomprehensible in its imagining and intensity making for a segment that’s uncomfortable to view and even more difficult to forget.
The Masks That the Monsters Wear is the most vile segment. It tackles the subjects of stillbirth, acceptance and Siamese twins.
The addition of a redneck child porn ring (this in no way glorifies such) makes this difficult to watch, although the veritable kaleidoscope of hellish images make it nearly impossible to turn the eyes away from.
Disturbing doesn’t even come close to describing what this movies images showcase. Recommended only to those whose penchants lay in the most depraved that cinema has to offer. Although this is an animated feature it still boasts significant presence to screw with the psyche – You have been warned!
I won’t be watching this again anytime soon, although it will still remain in my collection albeit moved to the very tippy top of the shelving unit far from prying eyes and curious little hands.
8
 
That’s about it, I’m exhausted, my eyes need a rest.
Cult