Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A Few Words..........

Hello! As you can see I haven't made a blog in the last couple of weeks. I've just been a bit busy with work and other things that have been going on, and a slight bit of laziness on my part haha!

Another thing you may have possibly noticed is that the page has changed slightly, most importantly the name. I was going to write about anything cool which has been happening, ie: good gigs, albums, and other things I've been excited about. Now I have decided to just write about movies, as I really enjoyed talking about the ones I have on the site!

Also I'd like to try and make some things a bit clearer about the site. I was talking to a friend a couple of days ago who asked when I was going to write another review. I thought the word "review" was a bit too strong a word. I just thought I could be a bit clearer in saying I don't think of it as a review really! Neither do I think of myself as a critic! The aim is to simply talk about films that I have seen recently and hope to spark an interest in people who haven't seen or heard them. I strongly believe in letting people make up their own minds about whether a film is good or bad, all I am going to say is if I enjoyed it or not!

Another thing I really like to do is find out a bit of history behind what i'm writing about. I really want to throw in a good bit of trivia as well because sometimes the story behind a film is as interesting as the film itself!

Well that's my rant over haha! Well done if you made it this far. The next blog should hopefully be up in a few days. The next dvd I'll be writing about is called Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide, which is a documentary encompassing every aspect of the video nasty era. It also has a load of extras bunged in which are also very interesting. Also I will be giving my own take on censorship and the BBFC which should hopefully park a heated debate and a few strong opinions!

Also please try and get more people to join if you have the time. Also please leave more comments as I would love to hear any opinions you may have, good or bad!

Until next time! :)

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

El Topo (The Mole)

Hi there folks!

Sorry it has taken me so long to write another blog, I've had a few things going on in the past week. Meeting old friends and the like and getting pretty drunk haha!

Well, I gave you the choice to pick between crazy western El Topo or The Omen 2 and i'm pleased to say that El Topo was the winner (as I only got two people to choose lol!)

El Topo is a 1970 film directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky and is a cult western with a healthy dollop of Christian symbology mixed with Eastern philosophy. The film runs in two parts. The first part of the film begins with the black clad gunslinger El Topo riding into a town with his naked son behind him. He finds that all the townspeople have been slaughtered so he tracks down and kills the outlaws and their leader.

He leaves his son to be looked after by monks at the settlement where he killed the outlaws but takes a young woman he has just saved and calls her Mara. She challenges El Topo to defeat the four zen masters of gunfighting to prove that he is the greatest gunslinger in the land.

El Topo agrees to the challenge and goes on his quest. The meet an unnamed woman in the desert who offers to help defeat the masters. He takes on the four masters and defeats them, but only with luck and trickery and never with true skill.

Afterwards, his guilt is unbearable and he returns to the locations he defeated the masters after destroying his gun. The unnamed woman and Mara then betray him by shooting him and leaving him for dead.

The second half of the film is set years after when El Topo wakes to find he has been rescued by deformed outcasts who live in a cave. He begins to meditate until he is eventually "born again", then begins his mission to help the outcasts get out of the cave by helping them dig a passageway. He falls in love with a dwarf and they both go into the nearby town to raise money for dynamite to make their passageway.

While in town he comes across a monk, who just so happens to be El Topo's deserted son. He tells El Topo he is going to kill him, but not until he has helped the outcasts. He finally manages to help the outcasts out of the cave, only for them to run down into the town. Once in town, the townspeople massacre them due to their deformities. Enraged, El Topo kills all the townspeople and then sets himself on fire. The only people to survive are his son, his dwarf lover and her baby and they ride out of town on horseback.

If you're like me, you'll think the description of El Topo sounds absolutely demented. But I like demented films so that was one of the reasons I bought this movie. Before buying this film though, I had recently bought another Jodorowsky film called "Holy Mountain" which was absolute insanity. It was like no other film I have or probably ever will see. "El Topo" has a lot of good moments and some stunning imagery but can also be completely baffling. In order to think this movie is normal you would have to be on acid!

The history of the film though, is slightly more interesting. Jodorowsky came into the New York scene in 1970 trying to promote the film. Every studio said no to the film, not because they hated it, but they just didn't know how they would market it.

The films first screening was in the Museum of Modern Art. A man called Ben Barenholtz, who owned a 600 seat cinema called The Elgin, loved the movie and tried to get the rights for US distribution. The man who owned the distribution rights was called Alan Douglas (who once managed Jimi Hendrix music fans). Douglas refused to sell the rights but Barenholtz persuaded him to let "El Topo" have weekday minight screenings at The Elgin.

Barenholtz decided the best way to promote the film would be by word of mouth. To keep the film mysterious by using minimal advertising so it felt like a discovery to the select movers and shakers who went to see the film. After time more and more people went to the movie until it was selected to be shown at an avante-garde movie night at The Elgin. In attendance at this movie night was John Lennon and Yoko Ono who, after showing a short movie they had made, stood up and said to everyone in the cinema to stay and watch "El Topo" as they loved the movie.

After that, evey critic and cinema lover went to see the film at The Elgin. The movie ran for a year until John Lennon's manager bought the film and that ended it's cinema showings.

It's quite hard to recommend to people to watch this film. If a violent insane western that is almost incomprehensible and has art-house credibility sounds like your kind of thing, watch it. If not, don't!

Well that's it for now, but stay tuned for some more soon. Please leave comments if you have a few things on your mind or have anything you'd like me to talk about next.

Take care!

Mick :)

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The Exorcist (2 Disc Blu-Ray)

Hi there!

First off I would like to thank everyone who has signed up as a follower and has left comments on previous posts! As some of you know I've been trying to plug my blog at any opportunity but have been having difficulty getting people to read haha! It would be greatly appreciated if you could persuade people to come and take a look or post a link to the page. Please spread the word!

I'm not going to bore you all talking about the plot of The Exorcist. I can imagine most people know what the film is about! Instead I'm going to tell you about the discs and if it's worth buying or not, and a bit of the backstory about the inspiration behind it.

On disc one there is the extended directors cut. This cut has one of the more infamous scenes, the "spider walk" scene, a slightly different opening and ending, and a few extre scenes of dialogue thrown in. Extras include a directors commentary and a few new featurettes including never before seen, on set footage.

The featurettes are:

Raising Hell: Filming The Exorcist - In this feature, cast and crew talk about making the movie. It has behind the scenes footage of the film and it also goes into why the movie was so controversial when shown for the first time. I personally found this feature quite informative.

The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then and Now - Basically shows you how the locations look now compared to back when the film was made.

Faces of Evil: The Different Versions of The Exorcist - A look at the different versions of the film. Director William Friedkin talks about the reasons some of the shots were cut for the theatrical release and how this led to the fallout between him and the writer, William Peter Blatty. Again I found this extra quite good.

Disc two has the original theatrical cut. Also on the disc are two commentaries, a directors and a writer/producers commentary.

There are also some extra features. These are:

1998 Documentary, The Fear of God: The Making of The Exorcist - This is the BBC documentary presented by Mark Kermode and featuring interviews with cast and crew. This is genuinely entertaining and Mark Kermode clearly has a passion for the film. It goes into the making of the film and the media and public phenomenon.

Interview Gallery with William Friedkin and William Peter Blatty - This is split into three topics. The Original Cut, The Final Reckoning and Stairway to Heaven. Blatty and Friedkin share their memories of the movie and are quite entertaining as they talk about both the film and the novel.

Also there is a collection of the original trailers and tv spots for the film.

The films both really benefit from the improved picture quality and the sound has never been better than on this set. If you have a blu-ray player then this should be in your collection. The film is a true classic. When you take away the controversy surrounding the film what you are left with is an intelligent, well acted, well written and well directed movie that, after 27 years, still has the power to shock just as effectively as when it was released.

As for my opinions on the story that inspired the novel of The Exorcist, I believe that there isn't really a "true" story out there i'm afraid. William Peter Blatty wrote a memoir on the book entitled "William Peter Blatty On The Exorcist From Novel to Film". In the book he talks about his inspiration, a 1949 Washington Post article he’d read as a student when he was at Georgetown University. The piece, which ran August 20, told of a 14-year-old boy from nearby Mount Rainier, Maryland, who had undergone an exorcism.

Whether these events actually happened or not can't be proved by myself but that is apparently where the idea comes from. Online there are about a million different stories all claiming to be the real story so it seems the "true" story is a bit of a myth.

Well that's what is on The Exorcist (2 Disc Blu-Ray). I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much I've enjoyed writing it! Also please comment and let me know your thoughts!

I was going to write a couple more reviews but it's starting to get a bit late now. Hey tomorrow's another day! I can either write about Alejandro Jodorowsky's insane mexican western/art film El Topo, or Don Taylor's shockingly funny The Omen 2. I'll let you decide! :)

Thank you very much!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Session 9

Howdy folks! Another day another blog and today I'm going to be talking about Session 9!

Session 9 is a 2001 movie directed by Brad Anderson (The Machinist). It tells the story of the Hazmat Elimination Team, an asbestos removal company, owned by Gordon (Peter Mullan, who has recently directed the film "Neds"). Employed by Gordon are Phil (David Caruso of CSI fame) who is second in command, Hank (Josh Lucas) who just stole Phil's wife, a law school dropout called Mike (Stephen Gevedon, also screenwriter), and Gordon's nephew Jeff (Brendan Sexton III).

The film begins with Gordon and Phil going to survey a job at Danver's State Hospital, a psychiatric hospital closed in 1985. While looking through the hospital, Gordon comes across an ominous looking corridor with a wheelchair in the distance (also the films trademark image), and hears a ghostly voice say his name, "Hello... Gordon".

As Gordon is desperate for the job, he say's he can do the asbestos removal in two weeks, but then lowers that to one week as he really needs the cash or the business will fold. Well needless to say they get the job and commence work.

On the first day there is an electrical problem. Mike goes into the basement to fix the problem and stumbles across a collection of 9 taped sessions by patient #444, Mary Hobbes who has multiple personality disorder. Mike gets fixated on listening to these sessions and finds out she has three personalities. Princess is childlike and innocent and likes to talk a lot. Billy is the eyes and see's everything. They mention the third personality as Simon, but are reluctant to talk about him.

As Mike becomes more engrossed in the tapes tension escalates within the group. The tension is slowly cranked up until the shocking finale!

Now i'm not one for completely spoiling movies so that's all I'll say on the plot. All that's left is to give you my opinion.

If you haven't seen this movie I urge you to look it out. It can be purchased from amazon for only a couple of quid so there is really no excuse not to have this in your collection. The film absolutely drips with atmosphere largely thanks to the film's location. Danvers State Hospital was a real insane asylum, rumored to be the birthplace of th pre-frontal lobotomy. Unfortunately most of the hospital was torn down in 2006 and made into luxury flats but there are plenty of pictures taken inside and around the grounds that are online if you fancy taking a look at them. I must say the place is pretty damn creepy!

The film is more about psychological horror and believe me it'll have you thinking about it long after it has ended. I bought this film last year after seeing so many recommendations online and wondered why I had never heard of this film before. Suffice to say I have watched it countless times since and it really does live up to multiple viewings.

Thanks for taking the time out to read this blog, and if you have seen the movie please comment as I would like to hear your opinions.

I just bought Grindhouse 2 disc blu ray which has the movies Planet Terror and Death Proof back to back whith the fake trailers, and also The Exorcist 2 disc blu ray with the original and extended versions of the film. Each movie is loaded with extras so they should keep me busy for the next couple of days and maybe I'll write about one of them.

Once again, cheers! :)

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Paranormal Activity 2

Well, on Thursday night I went to see the preview for Paranormal Activity 2 at the local cineworld. I'm a fan of the first movie but when I found out they were making a new one I wasn't very optimistic about it as I didn't see how it was possible to re-use the formula from the original and improve on it, also it seemed a bit rushed as the first one only came out a year ago. There was practically nothing online with any info about the films plot and I only really found out what it was about the day I went to see it.

This time round we have Tod Williams directing while original director Oren Peli is producer and partly wrote the movie.

Now the film is about Katie's (from the original) sister and her family being pursued by the same demon and in particular, their son Hunter. At the beginning of the movie they come home to find that their house has been completely smashed up, but that nothing has been stolen. Fearing that it may happen again they set up security cameras around the house in hope that they can catch something on film.

That's pretty much the basic premise of the film. I don't really want to say much more about the film because I don't want to spoil any of the surprises for you.

To say I was surprised by this film is an understatement. Not only was it a great movie, I would go as far as to say it was a superior film to the original. This film really needs to be seen in the cinema to get the most from it. This is the first time I've went to see a horror film where the audience were totally drawn in. People were screaming left, right and centre even at parts that weren't supposed to be scary. Even me, a hardened horror movie veteran, jumped a few times!

This is one of those rare times when an audience making noise and shouting actually made the movie more enjoyable. All I can say to recommend it is that if you are a fan of the original, go see it now as it really cranks the scares up a notch or two. If you aren't a fan, I think it still has a few cheap scares that would make you jump! There were a couple of grown men sitting beside me covering their ears when it got to the night time scenes and one of them kept shouting "No, NOOO!", everytime the smallest thing happened. It was hilarious!

That's my opinion on Paranormal Activity 2. If you have seen it and have your own opinions, please comment. Even if you haven't seen it and have an opinion, please comment!

Apart from going to see that, not much else has been happening. My weekend has been a busy one hence the late post about the film. Not really sure what film i'm going to see or watch next, suppose that's why random is in the name of the blog. I'll just have to surprise you! (If you're bothered that is!) Haha!

Thursday, 21 October 2010


Hi there Michael here!

This blog has been created primarily so I can talk about any movies, music or any other cool things that have caught my attention. The main thing I will be talking about is movies I have seen recently be it horror, cult, arthouse or any other type of movie that has caught my attention recently.

I hope you enjoy reading about the things I talk about and I'll regularly be putting up posts about any stuff that comes into my head (as I have a lot of time on my hands!).

If you have any things that you'd like to share or ideas about any films I should watch, feel free to comment and I'll check it out.

Well i'm just leaving to watch Paranormal Activity 2 at the cinema so expect my thoughts in the next few days! Bye! :)