Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Scorching the Retinas – Sodomaniac

Sodomaniac (2015)

Writers – Anthony Catanese, Steve Revesz

Director – Anthony Caranese

Runtime – 82 minutes

D.I. WHY Films

A Different Path Films

Wild Eye Releasing

Howdy friends, curious types and those who wander aimlessly in hopes to find something, anything, to brighten their meager existence. Today, I’ve discovered a wicked slice of celluloid which I just couldn’t pass up. That and the fact that Cult is under the weather means I can enjoy myself, his assortment of sugary treats and the depravity on offer without disturbance. Let’s just hope it stays that way and the movie delivers as I think we all understand that great art (no matter how boner-inducing) does not a great film make. It must be stated before I begin that if any image gives off an aura this one does and it screams “here’s metal up your ass”. Thankfully, however, it doesn’t feature Metallica as part of its soundtrack. I’m of the mind Lars would most probably vomit at the mere mention of a film with a title such as this, it’s pointless to mention therefore that he’d even want to consider being a part of it.

And that image will wake up anyone who might have been dozing!

The opening scene doesn’t disappoint and is sure to delight the most jaded among us. A form lay prone face down ass up (…”that’s the way we like to…”) with a myriad of intestine winding its way to the street. Two cops are on scene, one spouts, rather nonchalantly, “Even Freddy Mercury hasn’t seen anal carnage like this.” Admittedly, this makes me smirk wickedly, I’m an instant fan.

The film has even spawned a line of action figures, for obvious reasons

The film unravels much like the first victim’s innards. The dialogue on offer seethes with ill-intent, “roofies” are passed around like joints at a commune and the potential to offend is off the charts. The Levity on offer is blunt, if uttered in the workplace a rapid response would be a pink slip. In short, the dialogue is sure to appeal to those whose sensibilities lay in the gutter. One characters lines are littered with “you muthafuckas are gonna pay, all of you!” If that isn’t a red herring, I’m not sure what one actually is.

Misogyny, expletives and machismo flow like raging waters as the films main characters are introduced bro-ing out within their den of indecency. As their numbers dwindle trust amidst the group dwindles lower than the acting ability within the film. Something is afoot and it’s not just the fact that flowers are arriving at the house on a steady basis.

Google Maps sent me in the wilderness and instructed me to get naked

As low budget and offensive this undoubtedly is it isn’t without its “finer” points; the directing isn’t half bad. A few sentences of dialogue and a slew of interactions are surprisingly amusing and the antagonist is sure to be talked about a great deal based upon his mask of choice. Several scenes stand out (and they would have to with a title such as this, right?) not least of which a ‘Stewart’ type character (has anyone seen Beavis n Butthead?) playing a little game called ‘Edward 40 hands’. A game in which he isn’t allowed to use his hands until the 40’s taped to them are finished. To make matters even more complicated the bottles aren’t even open. Another scene is the opener; what a fantastic way to introduce a film boasting ass rape and revenge as its strongest plot devices. The features selling point however is its nod to Grindhouse and Eighties cinema. There’s ‘cheese’ aplenty and even a montage set to synth. There’s more than one montages, another notable example depicts a main character choosing booze on its ‘special properties’. 

Hey Stewart, Nice Winger shirt!

But let’s not forget the outrageousness of it all. This is like “Irreversible” meets “The Slashening” meets “I Spit on Your Grave” coupled with a Frat boy “Jersey Shore” edge and a few surprising elements which lift it from utter obscurity.

In conclusion, this is sick, vile, demented, disgusting, unabashedly offense and I can’t seriously recommend this to anyone, but the very brave.

Watch at your own risk, needless to say… I loved every minute.

B

Is an entry in Low Budget Japanese Cinema Still Called a B movie?

Howdy folks. It’s the neighborhood stalker of felines here again with a few words on a feature I’ve plucked from a dusty, cobweb ridden, corner of Cults movie collection.

Zombie Self-Defense Force (2006)

Japan

Writers – Naoyuki Tomomatsu, Chisato Õgawara

Director- Naoyuki Tomomatsu

Runtime – 75 minutes

“Oh my God. He’s eating him!”

Well this about sums up this slab of SUB-infested cinema. Add an over-abundance of cult influence, a UFO, a love interest, a thick molasses heaping of dark humor, campfire tales, patriotism, George R Romero adoration and an epic sword fight and the ingredients are near complete. And that’s it! Shortest dropping of non-sensical thoughts I’ve ever laid to keyboard.

Trailer courtesy of Hans Glock Film Productions

I jest.

ZSDF (obviously an abr. lest my digits decide they want union representation) is one of those rare instances in which the features surrounding box art do the film little justice. Admittedly, the green-hued samurai on the cover perks the interest but it’s not until the film imprints itself on the retinas that the jaw muscles abruptly slacken.

First, however, the viewer must make it past an introduction bursting at the seams with a narrative which is sure to offend those whose wardrobe appears as if a flag factory vomited and then sold the result. Jokes aside, nah fug it. I’m going all out! This feature starts strong then runs with a theme that America needs its ass kicked after dropping a bomb on a country which would have much preferred sushi joints taking the place of Starbucks and McDonald’s the world over. Being from a realm which holds little political or regional affiliation I’m somewhat on the fence here. Humans are unfathomably silly; machismo somehow overrides the need for everyone to get along and a growing number of forms don skins so thin that when the wind changes a lawsuit is proposed in record time. But enough of my meandering thoughts, what say I stray from distraction and scribble upon that which is under scrutiny?

Producers clamoring for the rights to yet another Zombie feature

For those who haven’t yet fallen in obviousville this is yet another Zombie film. Yet another in fact. But based that this is about to celebrate its fifteenth anniversary I’ll let it slide. Seriously, who’s still making Zombie films in this day and age? I’m guessing the current trend is possessed dolls and the rehash movement? Closely followed by Bigfoot and things that go bump in the night. I could be wrong and probably am, but who cares? The fact remains that films are still being made by those who care enough to do so and that should be celebrated.

And… I got distracted again. Back on track, wot?

This film (I’m back on track here, but for how long is anyone’s guess) is an outstanding example of one whose desires needed to be exacted. The humor level is one element here which is through the roof, that and the near palpable influence solidifies that which many might already know; this filmmaker grew up on a steady diet of Raimi, Jackson, low budget sci-fi and sword and sorcery flicks.

Never call me… Selwyn!

Ambitious yet self-deprecating ZSDF flows at a pace which is sure to delight (it knows its audience and panders well). There’s no steady build up and epic payoff here folks, this film provides ‘moneyshots’ throughout, there’s even plastic sheeting on the floor for easy clean-up, and gloriously so. Crimson sprays and ripped flesh abound, the filmmakers have little desire to be coy and it shows. Thankfully, it’s all done rather well (FX without laughable CGI), not at all tastefully but this only adds to the fun, chunks of sinew are pulled taut, skull cavities are flapping wounds (”Bad Taste”, anyone) and there’s even nods to Bub (if you don’t know this fellow from “Day of the Dead” you’re on the wrong site).

I’m Bub. C’mon… You know me?

Fantastic scenes are too numerous to mention with a myriad of moments to be talked about with similarly-minded genre fans or random strangers when the instance permits.

I can well imagine waiting in line at DMV next to a churchy type “…Remember that part when the housewife was impaled in the forest, or that one part with the…”

However, what makes this film work, other than the unflinching barbarity, brutality and unabashed smirk- inducing nature on display, not forgetting the unapologetic genre homage are several other reasons. The film is exceedingly easy to consume (even though there are SUBS galore), it doesn’t revel in a story which might require thinking.

You lads up for a spot of lunch? I know I’m hungry.

The humor works, even down to the spurned love interest. And it takes the viewer to places the typical Zombie cinematic foray would shy away from; elements, admittedly, I forgot about until they were reintroduced. In short, ZSDF is a twenty-pound fish stuffed into a won-at-the-traveling-carnival goldfish bowl. This is primed to explode and isn’t celebrated nearly enough.

And that’s about it. Have fun trying to find this gem, it goes without mentioning avoid the trimmed-for-general consumption versions.

Until next I find Cults keyboard unattended,

B

The Typical Day to Day, More of the Same?

Teeth upon my neck. Digging through flesh.

“Sweetie.”

…This might well bring about the end to all?

“Sweetie.”

Crimson decorating my surroundings.

“DAMN IT! Get up your alarm has been going off for the past five minutes”.

This wasn’t the normal way I awakened. Admittedly, I usually lay staring at the alarm clock for several minutes before flipping the switch to inactive. It takes me awhile to tell myself to get up and at em’. Everyday is pretty much the same.

This morning was slightly different. The night, or a large portion of it, was filled with lumbering monoliths sporting confused glances, children in tow. “I’m not sure? This is beginning to freak me out”. Then, the lunging and pressure upon my neck. For some reason I found myself giggling as this was transpiring with the words “Dawn of the Dead” upon my lips. Repeated, over and over until my head toppled from its fleshy perch to hit the floor. Can you see why I was glad to finally be able to escape sleeps lingering embrace.

On this particular day I rushed out of the door (it was normal I only usually gave myself enough time to gather my thoughts, make coffee and pack my lunchbox); not forgetting to kiss the wife, as I offered her the customary yet slurred “love you, have a great day” farewells. I watched as the garage door nestled into its closed position and checked my pockets one last time for all the necessary bits and pieces, I needed to ensure my morning went off without a hitch (whatever that in fact meant?) With coffee in hand I had the quiet drive to work to look forward to.

The next few moments brought little of significance (the neighbors children left their bike and scooter out in the street again) with the only major decision being the audio of choice. Should I listen to classical or blast that which my ears were otherwise accustomed? I choose the soothing movement of wind and brass over the chaotic riot inducing percussion coupled with the grunts, shrieks and groans I often chose to excitedly emulate.

Streets blurred into one other as my eyes roamed the landscape for eager officers of the law, hidden from view in plain sight their laps most probably powdered by the remnants of recently devoured baked treats. It was safe. Nevertheless, I found myself adhering to the frustrating whims of the holy light triad. One never knew when someone might greet one’s existence with abrupt flashing lights on account of the merest instant of not paying attention (“But Officer… it was yellow”).

One light in particular, I found, was in quite the fanciful mood. As I watched green turned to yellow, to red, to red again (wait what?) I became increasingly more frustrated. Three revolutions, close to five minutes. Seriously, who was taking the piss? Was there an individual in headquarters watching me, teasing my movements, readying to call out the authorities lest I cross an imaginary line in hopes I could trigger the sensor, a sensor, is there even a sensor? Does flicking your lights work? Just where was the left turn arrow, or even a green for those on “my side” to enable those to travel forward.

Amidst my frustrations and various hammering upon the steering wheel (movements I usually reserve for appreciation of the type of music I mentioned earlier), I noticed activity on the crosswalk across from me. My mind span, was this the individual responsible for the strange light activity? The more I paid attention the more I decided there was little, to zero chance, it could be. This person could hardly stand. Much like a new born deer it was as though they (singular tense) were learning, struggling in fact to keep their form from colliding with the dirt at an alarming rate of speed. I continued to watch, my sight occasionally switching to the stale red light (“change dammit!”) This was quickly deteriorating into fascinating entertainment. The person was jaywalking (do they even still give tickets for such an infraction, as many as unsolicited do you believe in God “argumentalists” who trespass to knock upon unsuspecting residences?) the light of the incoming traffic was green (Oh bliss, to have a light of such mesmerizing qualities). And yet still they paid zero heed.

Eventually the figure reached the median, tripped in fact, in a comical manner, which brought a childish smirk to my chops I’ll admit. (Please touch the button) I felt like jumping out of the car and proclaiming “For the love of all that is holy trigger the fn’ light”. But I resisted the urge and the figure managed, somehow, to not touch the area in which the button was located, every other part of the pole but that one location it seemed. Dammit!

However, I remained transfixed, at this point my frustrations had transformed from the get-away-from-that. That-will-scar-your-flesh boiling water on the stove type heat to more a controlled simmering. The figure weaved, a crazy dance where left meant right and up most probably meant down. One might easily ponder on whether in fact they existed in another dimension within the boundaries of our own (have you ever been that drunk?) But this person wasn’t drunk. In fact, on closer inspection (the light was still red) they appeared to be wearing the type of attire one might don to a special occasion.

Left leg, right leg…

I caught sight of a peculiarity. The folds of cloth shouldn’t bend in the way I was witnessing. Something was amiss. Was there an artificial limb in attendance perhaps? My gaze lifted and our eyes locked. Had he also been watching me this entire time?  The persons stare fell from my own, and…the light was still red, as they toppled. I swear I saw a placid expression turn to one of curiosity then depart from one of wonderment to something else entirely. The forms pace picked up. At this juncture he was crawling (the form appeared male though I know I shouldn’t assume). Scratch that. His hands were digging for purchase. Frantically. His eyes locked upon mine and I was swimming, drowning, in deep indecision waters. Should I take a picture (or a video? “Worldstar -”) or get out and help him or call the authorities (“wait you ran a red light and were driving one mile an hour over the limit?”)

I continued to watch, subconsciously my knuckles were tearing into the material of the steering wheel. I was stuck. I couldn’t move (the light was still red). Surprisingly I hadn’t seen a car since all of this had transpired. All of close to five minutes which seemed to have lasted a torturous lifetime.

An audible pop, quite unlike that of a champagne cork escaping its confines, broke the silence of the early morning stillness. And the figure moved with increasing vigor, a ferocity in its movements only matched by its formidable stare. With a start I noted the forms lower extremities. Devoid of movement, the combination of pants, socks and shoes amusing in their resting position (yea, we just thought we’d take a nap. Have you ever tried being a pair of legs? It’s exhausting!) The two portions now several inches apart, a fact which is strange in itself but it was then that I believed I saw a sight I’ve only ever seen in the movies; an uncoiling of that which should never see the light of day. Fuck me I was a character in a real-life zombie movie. Was my new regime of meds responsible? I wasn’t about to discuss it with the fellow who was getting ever closer. A leering look of I-hope-you-have-ketchup-in-your-car plastered across his features with shocking intent.

Fuck this, I was out of here. I looked up. The light was green. The fact that it might well have been green for several seconds of no importance to me now. My foot hit the gas with a viciousness reserved only for a downed opponent within the octagon. My tires squealed.  And I bid adieus to the form now mere inches away from the door beside which my form was seated.

The rest of my work day would in no way compare to this of that I was sure.

Cult

The Dollar Store Movie Experience

I have a problem. Many in fact. Today, however, I’ll discuss just this one. I have a vice. I cannot for the life of me stray from purchasing movies. Thankfully this habit won’t result in my being destitute (unless the wife tires of me) as I purchase said films from a location whose doors open under the bold font legend of “Everything is a Dollar”. Can you see why I might have the problem that I do?

In an attempt to make a dent in my movie collection, for I have quite a few piles perilously close to toppling over, I’m all for marathon viewing (if I’m given the opportunity to do so) and a few words on what assaults the retinas. What say we begin with a varied genre assault in the retinas?

Assassination (2015) South Korea

DRAMA/CRIME/ACTION

A promotional poster

Writer – Dong-Hoon Choi, Ki- Cheol Lee

Director- Dong-Hoon Choi

Runtime – 139 minutes

Wellgo USA

Showbox

Treachery, double-crossing, espionage and determination to the cause. Set in the 1930’s against the backdrop of Japan’s take-over of Korea this film showcases atrocities and the dedication of the people to get out from under Japan’s rule. Stunning performances, lavish, elegant production values with attention to detail, smart writing and top-notch directing make this a fantastic way to spend the better part of an evening. Honestly, this is the best value for a single dollar I believe I’ve ever received. If you’re up for Subs (you need to pay attention to), an epic story rife with historical context and plenty of excellently choreographed action; this is a must see!

Trailer courtesy of Fresh Movie Trailers

9.5

Honeymoon (2014) USA

HORROR

Writer – Phil Graziadei, Leigh Janiak

Director- Leigh Janiak

Runtime – 87 minutes

Magnolia

Magnet

A newly-wed couple heads to the woods to celebrate their Honeymoon. Yes, it’s a cabin, of sorts, stop me if this sounds familiar. They’re happy and it shows, horny too but that’s to be expected. Then one night an incident happens, much in a similar vein to that which earned the original Evil Dead its “Nasty” moniker and status. The “incident” and visuals are left to the imagination though there’s definitely something amiss. Paul (the husband) played by Harry Treadaway suspects the same. Bea, Rose Leslie, is acting strange, rather odd to be certain. But what exactly is going on? Who’s responsible? Are there alien forces at work, Bigfoot, ‘Nessy’ with breathing apparatus and a high-powered torch? What exactly is going on?

Trailer courtesy of Arrow Films

There are plenty of questions here to answer. One thing though is that this is a quality production. Honeymoon shines with an ominous aura and a potent uncomfortableness. A low budget shocker for sure, a little slow at times but there’s a payoff close to the finale which is grisly and unexpected. Overall, this delivers though might deter a few viewers based on its approach and pace.

6.5

Big Bad Wolves (2013) Israel

CRIME/DRAMA

Written and Directed by Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado

Runtime – 110 minutes

Ucm

United Films

From the film’s opening you get a sense of style, panache. Everything even down to the facial expression of the actors (in this case children playing hide and seek in an abandoned house) is sublime, top notch. The soundtrack adds another element yet to make one immediately fascinated.

Trailer courtesy of Movieclips Indie

The film continues in much the same fashion. A serial killer is on the loose, a victim’s father is on the prowl and a cop has a good idea of who’s to blame. As it happens their suspect is one and the same. Their lives become entangled, one thing leads to another and torture becomes the name of the game. Add delicious dark humor and you have a film which Tarantino hailed as “…the film of the year”. Quite honestly, I tend to agree, this has all the makings for a classic with an ambiance few films attempt but rarely achieve and should not be missed. Sure, it has Subs but it only makes you want to pay more attention, and for a feature of this caliber one shouldn’t mind in the slightest.

10

Psychopaths (2016) USA

HORROR

Writer/Director – Mickey Keating

Runtime – 85 minutes

Glass Eye Pix

Dizzying, brutal and surreal this feature showcases the essence of famed serial killer Earl Starkweather as it permeates a surrounding radius following his execution. It doesn’t help that an accident has resulted in a local insane Asylum inmates sudden lease on freedom.  There are kills aplenty here but also enough artsy moments to have many want to run for the hills. Part art (stage performance fair), part music video (albeit experimental in tone) and part horror this is certainly a polarizing viewing experience. Ashley Bell steals the show with a stunning portrayal of a schizophrenic, both sides of which are in constant combat for control. Another role worthy of note is Jeremy Gardner’s “Cop”. An authority figure with a feral dark side which rises to surface when an eruption of violence hits too close to home. “Blondie” portrayed by Angela Trimbur is a fantastic example of an individual with a hidden dark side which one would never guess. Only three of the characters here which make this feature rather an interesting watch. A folksy, vintage, rock soundtrack lends the film a antiquated edge which borders on Grindhouse in instances.

Trailer courtesy of UHM Upcoming Horror Movies

Overall, this is quite the slab of depraved, intriguing and different celluloid boasting a myriad of elements which work in its favor though an overall feel which may turn some away before its finale.

6

Power Kids (aka Force of Five) 2009 Thailand

MARTIAL ARTS/COMEDY/ACTION

Writers- Nonont Kontaweesook, Napalee, Nontakorn Thaweesuk, Piyaros Thongdee

Director- Krissanapong Rachata

Runtime – 77 minutes

Sahamonkolifilm International

A Maui Tai teacher cares for five youngsters, one of which, the youngest, is deathly ill. Their adventures result in their youngest siblings ending up in the hospital. Incidentally, at the same time a US ambasador visits as too a militia group with various demands. The kids are soon caught in the “crossfire”. With their brother at risk they scheme to resolve the situation by any means necessary. This means plenty of gymnastic high-flying face-kicking (Tony Jaa style) action with a ton of dumb looking criminals firing machine guns wily-nily.

Although this is dubbed and there’s a cultural gap the film still manages to tug at the heartstrings and provides a few laughs depending on, naturally, the viewers demeanor and willingness to subject their senses to non-Hollywood action affairs. The choreography and action are commendable with a myriad of note-worthy epic fight scenes, many doused in humor, standing out to steal the production.

Trailer courtesy of incredibly Strange Movies

Overall, a somewhat light-hearted way (bearing in mind my usual genre of choice is brutal horror/comedy) to waste close to 80 minutes. Admittedly I’m not so sure about the credits scene where the children are caned, (I’m guessing it’s a common practice where the film was produced?) but that goes to show one of the cultural differences I was referring to earlier.

6.5

C’mon, there’s gotta be something here?

Have fun exploring, digging through, the piles of forgotten gems within the dusty shelves of the Dollar Stores. I know I do. Until next time, happy viewing.

Cult

Mayhem (2017)

Writer – Matias Caruso

Directed by Joe Lynch

Runtime – 88 minutes

Ava Pictures

Circle of Confusion

Royal Viking Entertainment

What can I possibly say about this film, which hasn’t been scribbled before? Honestly, probably not much. Therefore, I’ll add my two cents, and give Mayhem the ‘Cult treatment’ as it were, and hope that I have at least spurned someone to either re-watch this, or view it for the first time as I just have.

The best in the franchise? You be the judge

One would have high hopes given all the blurbs on the films cover. But let’s not forget the fact that the director of this also had more than merely a hand in one of the finest “stalk n slash” hillbilly features currently on the market. I’m referring to, naturally, Wrong Turn part two. As well as featuring Henry Rollins it also showcases eye-opening scenes of inventive, unflinching, grisliness guaranteed to send grandma into a coronary. Suffice it to say it’s the flagship of the franchise and one of my favorites. But I hear the whispers, what about Mayhem, isn’t this what this installment is supposed to be about?

Trailer courtesy of New Buzz Trailer

Accept my apologies. I was merely setting the scene. With my expectations for the film set, I plunged in. It doesn’t take long to realize this is the ideal film for today’s (currently mid-October 2020) predicament. More on that a little later.

Mayhe’es monochromatuic carnage

Following an opening scene rife with monochrome violence and lust the palette is somewhat tainted. Just where does this fit in? I guess I should pay more attention to the spoken narrative. As it happens the arena in which this takes place is a large city but more specifically a gargantuan office block (thinking of Gremlins 2 yet?) As well as providing the narrative Derek Cho (played by The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun) is an employee of the firm which resides in said construct.

He details his position and the strange way in which his excitement has transitioned to regret and disdain, within the first six months, and his frustrations of ultimately being nothing more than a cog in Towers and Smythe Consulting, a giant cash gobbling rabid machine.

Is this a normal day in the office or a “Warriors” cosplay event?

Enter the spark which sets the plot within a stick of dynamite primed to explode. In this instance the spark is a virus (nope, not Covid) and much like that seen in 28 Days Later it transforms its host into a creature devoid of decency. To put it another way...”…Basic human dignity takes a sick leave”. The ID7 Virus is immediately noticeable in those infected, much like Pink Eye the symptoms are obvious. Avoid the “Red eyers”. An official with the CDC explains the risks; “An infected individual would make a Coke addict look normal in comparison”.

The always stunning Samara Weaving

Derek has many duties in his position the least of which is explaining to Samara Weaving there’s no hope of retaining her current residence. He tries, there is a modicum of decency within him even though he is a corporate type, but to no avail. Furious, she leaves the office.

The film continues, and it becomes blindingly obvious something is amiss. No one is allowed to leave. The building has been placed under quarantine and is surrounded. Clever ‘snippets’ have already offered the viewer the reasonings as to why. ID7 runs rampant, employees are rubbing their eyes at an alarming rate and abrupt incidences of violence are spreading out of control. Derek has found himself at the end of a fist, but it gets worse.

Am I now destined to be a Walmart greeter?

He’s recently been laid off, upper management are tying him to a fiasco which is about to blow up in their faces. So, he’s unemployed, stuck in the building with those who deem it his fault (someone needs to be the fall guy, right) and he’s infected. One thing leads to another, he finds that his path intersects that of a familiar face and that he has minimal openings in order to be heard in a ‘getting his job back’ tribunal. For wont of spoiling the film (more than the films cover already has) I’ll leave my blow by blow here.

Mayhem; the film’s main stars and director

Mayhem is many things, but not least of all amazing entertainment. Before I continue, I’d like to state that Mr. Lynch has done it again. The bar was set high going in and I’m glad to announce it’s been vaulted over. Mayhem boasts numerous, immeasurable, standout scenes. The narration is doused in an emotion which most will be able to sympathize with, in short, the divide between worker ants and the upper echelon of a large corporations ruling elite. As well the everyday ‘grin and bear it’ grind.

Characters are top notch and the writing superb. The film is gloriously scattered with types whom incite instant loathing and others who’re always out to help their fellow ‘inmates’ no matter the intricate finagling required.  Steven and Samara’s exchanges are diabolical, devilish and delicious (what I would give to be spat upon by her. Steven is a lucky chap indeed!) And the situations within the feature filmed in such a way that every detail and nuance is captured wonderfully. Did I mention there’s plentiful blood and brutality? Plenty of both to sate those desires in fact.

for those not paying attention this is one of the earliest Anthrax albums; Fistful of Metal

The soundtrack is also worthy of note.

Fantastic synth portions of the soundtrack add to the build of many scenes, a nod to Carpenter-esque realms and the inclusion of metal is a nice touch. Hearing Samara (Weaving) say Motorhead, D.R.I and (early) Anthrax will carve a smile upon many fans faces, I’m sure.

Classic comedy arrives in many incidences but must notably in the guise of a psychologist on speaker phone wanting to speak to Derek who’s under “…a bit of stress” as two office factions prepare to face off (note by this point Derek has a bounty on his head as the upper management have come to the realization he wants a meeting). Other comedic elements come in the form of the films use of corporation lingo. Sentences I’m sure those who wear a tie to work have become frustratingly tiresome of.

And…this image about says it all for both films

In conclusion, as I could waffle on about this masterpiece of genre celluloid for some time, Mayhem is the “Crank” of Horror movies (albeit doused in molasses dark humor). Its vibe is adrenaline and its passion palpable. Seriously who hasn’t wished to wield a hammer or nail gun in the Office. Some have commented this is much like “…a cross between Office Space and The Purge” (4:3). I’d agree on both points, although the stapler is replaced by a mug, there’s zero masks (replace them with the office business facade), and statements coming from the Govt (stating its ok to commit crimes including homicide) on display. Although a precedence has already been set in which acts of violence taking place whilst under the virus’s control are null and void.

Poop! Is this all my fault?

Fun fact; this “precedence” was introduced by none other than Derek Cho a fact which many might find ironic, perhaps it’s karma? Who knows for sure? One thing which is irrefutable is that Mayhem is a not to be missed blast! Another Joe Lynch milestone to add to the collection. I’m clearing the shelves in anticipation of what he has in store in the near future.

Absolute genius, props also go out to the writer responsible (Matias Caruso) without whom this wouldn’t have seen the light of day.

10

Cult

Sightseers (2012) UK

Directed by Ben Wheatley

Written by Steve Oram and Alice Lowe (with additional material by Amy Jump)

Runtime – 85 minutes

Studio Canal

Big Talk Pictures

BFI Film Fund

At its core Sightseers is a love story. Chris is a mild-mannered man and Tina somewhat of a recluse. Together they manage to escape the clingy grasp of Tina’s needy mother and set off to explore the areas main tourist attractions. In essence, Chris is wanting to show Tina “his world”.

(trailer courtesy of Movie Coverage)

If only it were as simple as that. As their journey progresses the pair soon realize there are glaring idiosyncrasies which they both possess that could quote possibly tear their relationship apart.

“Did you see that?”

Luckily, Tina is the forgiving type (her relationship with a domineering matriarch has dulled her senses somewhat) and has the ability to take most things in her stride. But, will she be able to forgive and forget when her partner’s personality sheds its camouflage to reveal its true self?

The German poster for Sightseers

Without ruining the story this is the movie in a nutshell. Obviously, it’s a great deal more exciting than my ‘clipped’ synopsis makes it appear. Draped in a gossamer veil of pitch humor it has a great deal many can relate to, some more so than others. A cavalcade of traits which cause annoyance on a sliding scale depending on one’s level of intolerance. Sightseers is also a movie about manners, though not only that, it’s also about morals, jealously and treating others with respect. It depicts one’s gradual descent into apathetic barbarity with grace. Showcasing the realization (and transformation into physical practice) the myriad of thoughts which many of us have, but rarely act upon, expanded upon to the Nth degree.

As well as depicting characters in a relatable light Sightseers is also commendable for offering the viewers an insight into the beauty which the landscape (in this case Northern Britain. “Whatever you do, stay off the moors”) offers, even so far as to transporting the audience to the National Pencil museum (it’s undoubtedly a thing) and the pleasures of exploring the countryside in a miniature domicile on wheels.

What steals the show however, apart from the characters flailing plummet into wackoville, are the interactions between Chris (Steven Oram) and Tina (Alice Lowe). Both roles are portrayed brilliantly, an exquisite realization of the roles each actually wrote, exhibiting a wide range of emotion, opposite ends of which often seconds apart in the same scene. Their relationship is one of exploration and discovery, not just of the English countryside, and shows two quite opposite individuals finding a middle ground where they both find nirvana. If only for a brief instant, before the films stunning climax.

In conclusion, for I could truly babble on about this masterpiece for quite a few pages, Sightseers is a quant slice of cinema minus the huge budget and action sequences many crave, its brilliance is in its character development and abrupt moments of what the fuckery which will widen the eyes and garner the attention much like a vehicular catastrophe unfolding before the senses. Sightseers has its moments of brutal and predictability but the intrigue arises with inevitable questions; will he, will she and how far would one go in the same situation if the flashing red “Don’t” light in the senses failed to activate. Sightseers makes one think, ponder and deliberate upon a world where such doesn’t exist and the ease with which one could topple over the edge.

Sightseers is in essence a quant, brutal, slice of British cinema

This was worth the wait (I had this in my collection for many years, after searching for it for a few months, before setting eyes upon it) don’t be like me. Seek this out and enjoy the experience. Ben Wheatley is quite simply a genius. Kill List is another of his (also destined to be a Cult affair) I wholeheartedly recommend.

9

Cult

A promotional sheet for Kill List

For all those wondering this is another of Ben Wheatley’s quite brilliant cinematic creations deserved of an immediate viewing.