Thursday, 1 September 2011

Noroi: The Curse

Hello there! I was going to do the first film in the Lone Wolf and Cub series but felt compelled to do a post on "Noroi: The Curse". I first saw this film little over a year ago and loved it, but only this week bought a copy from eBay as it hasn't been released in the UK (a bit of a shame as it's one of the better J-Horror films!).

It is a 2005 film directed by Koji Shiraishi who later made a film based on the Japanese urban legend of the "Slit Mouth Woman" (Carved), and gained further notoriety by actually having his last film completely banned in the UK (Grotesque)! The BBFC stated that the film featured sexual sadism for it's own sake, and had the possibility of  "harming" viewers.

"Noroi" is made in a documentary style, being completely filmed using digital camcorders. This adds a certain realism to the film and makes some of the scares even creepier.

"Noroi" is about a paranormal researcher, named Masafumi Kobayashi, who has made several books and documentaries about the stranger things that happen in Japan. We are told in a brief  voice over that while making his new documentary, "The Curse", Kobayashi's home had been burned down and only the remains of his wife were found, and he had dissappeared. We are then shown his new documentary.

The first half of the film shows Kobayashi investigating seemingly unrelated incidents. A mother and daughter complain that they can hear baby's crying from somewhere. When he goes next door to interview the neighbour, she acts very hostile towards him. A strange sound is later fount to be on the tape of several baby's crying, so he goes back to speak to the residents. They say that the day after he talked to the hostile neighbour, they moved out. He goes next door to find that there are several dead pigeons lying at one of the windows. Shortly after, the mother and daughter die in a freak car accident.

After a while the incidents, while still seeming unrelated, start to form a pattern. A television clip showing a child psychic who dissappears, a tv actress having a fit in a cemetary then finding that she's drawing strange symbols and looping complex loops of string in her sleep, another psychic who wears tin foil to protect himself from "ectoplasmic worms" (and also has a link to the child psychic and the actress), and finally, the discovery of a mass suicide where the victims are all hanged from rope with the same complex loops in them! All this and a lot of other bizarre events happen.

All very confusing, but as the film progresses the events and characters begin to intertwine and Kobayashi realises that they are all part of a related chain of mysterious events.

I don't like to give stories away and spoil the films I write about, so give this film the chance it deserves as I really believe that this is one of the best J-Horrors out there (that I've seen anyway). Plus it has a really great, unforgettable scene right at the very end!

It is quite long and complex for a film of this type. It runs at around the 2 hour mark, and has various storylines running through it at the same time. There are a lot of characters in the film (who usually end up dead), but in the end there are only a handful of characters that you need to concentrate on.

I'm surprised this film hasn't reached a bigger audience. With so many inferior horrors from Japan being distributed to the UK and the US, I'm at a loss as to why this has slipped through the net.

Thank you for taking the time to give the page a read. If you like what you have seen I would be very grateful if you joined or left a comment below, even if it is to say the post was bad. The comments help me improve the page. Also to the right there is a link to my Twitter page if you feel like joining, plus there are links to other pages I like reading. The next film should be the Lone Wolf and Cub film, "Sword of Vengeance".

Thank you for reading,

Michael. :)

Friday, 29 July 2011

Shogun Assassin

Hi there! It's been a while since my last post. I've been promising to write about "Shogun Assassin" for a few months now but things kept getting in the way. Now I'm back I have a few ideas for posts. After "Shogun Assassin" I'll make my way through the Lone Wolf and Cub series, then I was thinking of doing a Unit 731 film comparison on "Men Behind the Sun", and "Philosophy of a Knife". Two pretty controversial films, plus a bit of information on Unit 731's history. If you're wondering what the hell Unit 731 is, you'll find out when I post or google it haha!

"Shogun Assassin", is a strange film. Do I call it American or Japanese? It's a 1980 American amalgamation of the first two films in the popular "Lone Wolf and Cub" series, "Sword of Vengeance" and "Baby Cart at the River Styx".

The "Lone Wolf and Cub" series began in 1972, based on a long running manga of the same name. The series was already being shown to American audiences, mostly to Japanese expats in film theatres in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo. A film director called David Weisman (Ciao! Manhattan) and actor Robert Houston (The Hills Have Eyes) managed to see the films at one of these theatres and decided to come up with the money (loaned mostly from friends), to acquire the rights to " Baby Cart at the River Styx"  and selected parts of "Sword of Vengeance".  It cost $50,000 to buy these rights from the American office of Toho Studios.

Once the rights were bought, they both decided to create a version of the films that was more suitable for the American market. They spent six months rearranging the film, and dubbed the film into English with a crazy cast. American comedienne Sandra Bernhard, ex radio actor Lamont Johnson, The film poster illustrators son Gibran Evans, and the staff of a nearby sushi bar for the authentic Japanese grunts and other noises!

Once this was all completed, they sold the finished film to Roger Corman's New World Pictures for distribution. He then released the film into the grindhouse circuit where it went on to make a name for itself and also quite a lot of money.

"Shogun Assassin" is the story of the head executioner and skilled samurai of a powerful Shogun. The Shogun is getting senile and paranoid in his old age, and will kill anyone he sees who might oppose his rule. He is wary of the samurai's skills and orders his ninjas to assassinate him at his home. The ninjas strike at a time when he isn't home but kills his wife. His toddler son survives the assault so he gives him a choice, take the ball and he can be with his mother. Choose the sword and he will walk as a demon with his father walking the road to oblivion!

Obviously the child picks the sword and father and son roam the countryside as ronin, mercenary for hire. The only thing driving the father is vengeance, until the final battle with the Shogun!

As always I don't like to give away too much of the plot. Believe me when I say it's worth your time!

On paper it sounds like a disaster. Combine and rearrange two cult Japanese films and dub the movie with some nondescript actors, but it actually works rather well. Most of the film comes from "Baby Cart at the River Styx", which is easily one of the stand outs of the series. A lot of the characters are really memorable and some of the scenes are pretty epic to say the least. Some of the imagery even reminds me of Jodorowsky's "El Topo", which has an almost similar story and over the top style of violence. Only about 10-15 minutes of "Sword of Vengeance" is actually used for setting up the main premise of the film.

Also it must be said that this was the starting point for a lot of peoples love of Japanese and Asian cinema, and was the film that introduced a lot of people to the "Lone Wolf and Cub" series, including myself.

The film has a bit of a reputation in the UK. In 1983, the video tape label Vipco released the VHS only for the Home Office to pull it back off the shelves. It remained unavailable until 2001 until Vipco managed to re-release the film on DVD. They used this as a selling point by printing "Banned since 1983!" on the cover! Below is a picture of that cover.


Vipco specialised in releasing video nasties and previously banned films. Unfortunately, they closed their doors in 2007. The company had a certain unpopularity with viewers. Many were disappointed with the low quality of the discs in relation to their high price, especially picture and sound quality. Vipco claim that the films were digitally remastered, although it was fairly obvious the films were released in the pan and scan picture format. Also the discs usually had little to no special features to mention.

One of the reasons I love films like this is because you'll never see their kind again. The era of these kind of grindhouse films has been. The new grindhouse movies like "Death Proof" and "Planet Terror", while being good in their own right, really aren't good examples of grindhouse. Too much budget for a start, which can limit imagination sometimes. For some reason I didn't get the "vibe" that I get while watching real grindhouse movies. One thing I do love about them though is that a lot of films that wouldn't have been released otherwise, have been because the likes of Tarantino have name checked them.

Thank you for taking the time to read the blog. Once again I'm sorry for taking so long to write a new post, I'll try not to be away for so long again. If you like what you have read could you please pass the blog onto your Facebook page or join my Twitter page to the right of the screen? As you can see I don't have many followers at the moment, haha! If you are following thank you very much, I only do this blog for my love of films and enjoy talking about the films that don't get talked about too much. I also think some of the stories behind the films are really interesting.

Also another thing before I finish. A couple of posts ago I was writing about "Ghostwatch", and how it got it's inspiration from an actual event from London about the Enfield Poltergeist. Well, afterwards I got quite interested about the story and bought a book about it online called "This House is Haunted" by Guy Lyon Playfair. Well I stumbled across a website for a film that's being made about it. The address is If you're interested in this sort of stuff check it out. I've posted the teaser below.

Thank you once again,


Thursday, 21 April 2011

Visitor Q

Hi everyone! It's been a while since my last post. Apologies as I have been unwell a couple of times in the past few weeks....... my luck haha!

Thanks to everyone who has read, commented or joined the page. I'm really thankful that you have taken the time to check it out. As you can see I'm still short of followers, if you enjoy the blog please feel free to join or even just comment or pass on the page to friends!

"Visitor Q" is a 2001 film by controversial filmmaker Takashi Miike, whose other films I probably don't need to mention. It is the 6th volume in a series of straight-to-video movies called Love Cinema, made by the Japanese company CineRocket. The films did have a brief theatrical run in a small cinema called Shimokitazawa in Tokyo. The films were exercises in using Digital Video to explore the benefits and mobility of the medium.

The film begins with the rather ominous question, "Have you ever done it with your Dad?". Hopefully the answer to that question is no, and if this was a different director it would be slightly jarring but with Takashi Miike it comes as no surprise! It then shows a shot of a young prostitute being filmed through a camcorder. She is making a deal at a hotel room with a man who, after very little persuation, sleeps with her. When this has happened, you find out that the man in question is her dad thus setting the tone for most of the film.

In the next scene we are asked, "Have you ever been hit on the head?". The father is sitting at a station. Behind him is a window in which a man turns up and hits the father over the head with a brick for apparently no reason.

The next scene begins "Have you ever hit your mom?" . The mother is shown in the house, she walks with a limp and is covered in marks where she has been beaten. Her son comes in from school throwing things around the house, then beats his mother with a stick for buying the wrong toothbrush. The father comes home with the stranger who stays for the next few days.

It's very difficult to explain the plot without giving too much away. I'll give brief accounts of the characters while trying not to give too much away.

The mother is a prostitute with an addiction to heroin.

The father is making a documentary with his camcorder about Japanese youth. Later while looking at his old tapes he is shown being raped by a gang of teenagers. He also films his son being bullied for his documentary.

The son is being bullied and fireworks are being fired at his room window by the bullies. When he comes home he beats his mother and seems to have a lot of issues.

Not much is mentioned of the daughter, apart from that she has run away from home and is making money as a prostitute. She does appear at the end of the film though.

The stranger is the central character who eventually brings the family closer together in very unothodox ways.

Basically this film is Takashi Miike's warped view on the typical dysfunctional family. It's supposed to be about the family eventually coming together. The visitor is the central character who comes in and shakes the family up. It seems they are so used to their way of life it has become the norm to them and it takes a stranger to get them to see life in a different perspective.The visitor may make things go incredibly maniacal: necrophilia, multiple murder, hacking up bodies etc, but in the end it is strangely touching and serves it's purpose.

In my opinion, i'm not the greatest fan of Takashi Miike. He makes roughly four films a year but he isn't consistently good. For every good film he makes a few I don't like. What I do have is an admiration for him and his "couldn't give a damn" attitude. He's one of the few directors doing what he want's to do and not caring who he offends along the way. This film breaks taboos and definitely is one of a kind. You don't see many films like this one!

If you have the stomach for some of the themes I have talked about and want to see something truly original, this is the film for you. For everyone else, don't say I didn't warn you!

Thanks again to everyone reading, it really means a lot and i'm glad i'm not talking to myself! Please leave your comments below and if you haven't already, please join up. I have a twitter page you can join on the right of the page where you can talk about films you have seen or anything in general. I've had fun as always, the post is a bit shorter than usual but I don't want to give too much away!

                                                      Michael :)

Thursday, 17 March 2011


Hello everyone!

On October 31st, 1992 at 9:30 pm, I remember sitting down to watch a BBC television programme called "Ghostwatch". What I saw on this show would be permanently imprinted into my mind. For years afterward I would always ask friends if they remembered "that" show which was on at Halloween.

To date, it still stands strong as one of the most controversial TV shows ever shown on a British screen, fooling an entire nation and accumulating an impressive 30,000 calls to the BBC switchboard in the first hour of broadcast!

"Ghostwatch" was a one off television drama masquerading as a "live" broadcast with popular presenters from the BBC. It was produced for anthology series "Screen One" and was written by Stephen Volk and directed by Lesley Manning. Even though it was presented as a "Screen One" drama including credits before the show and a large section in that weeks Radio Times, the public were under the impression that what they were seeing was real.

In the following days a lot of anger was directed at the show and the day after the show most of the tabloids had "Ghostwatch" as their front page news. It was the first TV show to be placed in the British Medical Journal for being the cause of post-traumatic stress (specifically in two 10 year old boys).

The BBC imposed a 10 year broadcasting ban and to my knowledge, it has never been shown in Britain again (I could be wrong haha) but has been broadcast in a few countries outside the UK.

"Ghostwatch" is made to look like one of the phone in shows which were popular at that time and the focus of the show is the investigation of the so called "most haunted house in Britain", with a team of presenters in the studio and out on location at the house.

In the studio is the well known Michael Parkinson, who is the interviewer, and Mike Smith, who is running the switchboards. Out at the house is Sarah Greene, who is interviewing the family at the house. She was a popular family presenter and is actually married to Mike Smith in real life and also in the show. Outside the house talking to the public and giving comedy relief is Craig Charles, famous for playing Dave Lister in "Red Dwarf".

The house is owned by single mother Pam Early, who lives with her daughters Suzanne and Kim. Around December 1991, strange phenomena begins to happen in the house. Furniture moving by itself, objects floating around, and a metallic clanging noise is heard. After a while the eldest of the daughters, Suzanne, begins to experience cuts on her body. The daughters claim that there is a ghost in the house called "Pipes", because of the metallic clanging which begins when he is around.

Sarah Greene is tasked with being in the house with the family to witness any phenomena which may happen. Cameras are placed around the house and the cameraman has a state of the art camera with night vision and thermal imaging which was a new technology at the time. Craig Charles asks the public outside the house about their experiences and about any information about the area and the house.

Michael Parkinson interviews the family's parapsychologist, Dr. Pascoe, who tells him what she knows about the family's problem and provides evidence to support her claims. Mike Smith keeps everyone updated with the experiences and stories of the public phoning in.

Back at the house events are getting stranger. A wet patch has suddenly appeared in the middle of the carpet. Strange cat sounds are heard in the house and Suzanne becomes covered in scratches on the bed. Stories from outside the house get more strange with people mentioning that the area has always had trouble and that there are stories about a "baby farmer" called Mary Sneddons who lived in the area in the 19th century.

In the studio there are people calling in to say that strange occurences are happening in their homes while they are watching the broadcast. Events escalate into a shocking finale that rocked the British public. I'll not give the rest of the story away I'd rather you found that out for yourselves haha!

Stephen Volk states that he underestimated the effects the show would have on the public as they found it hard to differentiate between the live feel of the show and the dramatised aspect. Because of this there were a lot of angry people who believed they were misled. Stephen Volk has said it was never his intention to mislead the public and that some of the story was so dramatic, he never believed anyone would take it so seriously.

The show was inspired by the "Enfield Poltergeist", a remarkable true story about events that transpired on a London street in the seventies. If you would like to know more about it I have put a youtube clip on the bottom of the page.

The dvd is unfortunately out of print and is apparently either quite hard to buy or quite expensive. I imagine eBay would be your best bet or possibly a link online. There is currently a Ghostwatch twitter and facebook page online and there are plans for a retrospective documentary to possibly be released next year called "Ghostwatch: Behind the Curtains" and hopefully the show as well!

Anyone reading this blog from outside the UK, I'm not sure if you have ever heard of this show but I urge you to seek it out, I promise it will leave an impression.

Ghostwatch are also doing a live twitter screening for another British show that fooled the nation called "Alternative 3", on April 1st, 21:00 GMT. Simply join the twitter page, put on your copy of the show, and tweet about it! They also have a blog. The link is to the right of the page! Copies are selling very cheap on Amazon or you can watch it on Google player!

This is no April fool though they have pretended that the ghost "Pipes"
was going to be in ''The Simpsons"!

Thank you very much for reading. Please leave a comment if you have time or follow if you enjoyed the page!

I also would love some movie suggestions for the next post!

Until next time.

Michael :)

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The Idiots (Idioterne) (Dogme #2)

Hi there!

I've been away for a couple of weeks because I've been a bit busy (though I've been updating the twitter page on the right of the page), but now it's business as usual haha!

Thanks to everyone who has checked out, joined and commented on the page. Keep the comments coming I do enjoy having a discussion about the films on the page, or anything else for that matter!

Also you may have noticed if you've been to the page before that there has been a few design changes here and there, especially the new title designed by my good friend M. Deary (who also has a blog at In time there should be a few more changes to the page hopefully.

Anyway, about the film.

"The Idiots" is a 1998 film by the always controversial Lars von Trier (Antichrist), made in compliance with the intentions set out in the Dogma '95 Manifesto. You may be wondering what the Dogma Manifesto is all about but first about the film.

The story basically revolves around a group of intellectuals residing in a large house, who set out to challenge peoples sensibilites and cause general anarchy by acting mentally retarded. The film begins as they recruit a lone diner called Karen while "spassing" in a restaurant. Once back at the house, Stoffer (the groups leader), tells Karen about his intentions. He plans to take on society or the "bourgeois" as he likes to call them, who he feels prohibit their intelligence and creativity, by provoking the public with their increasingly outrageous behaviour.

Stoffer feels that by acting as mentally retarded, he can play off the reactions of the general public and truly be creative and free to do as he likes. He also loves the idea of people with disabilities having total innocence and acting only by instinct. I think that he believes that they are the only ones who are truly free in the world.

After "spassing" out in a variety of different locations (at the swimming pool, a bar etc), and the famous orgy scene, the group slowly begins to dissolve. Two of the young members of the group begin to fall in love, only for the girls father to come to the house and take her away. Stoffer seems to be cracking under the pressure also as he struggles with trying to stall his Uncles sale of the house in which they are staying, and is fighting with his own agenda's. Simply "spassing" just won't work after a while as it only stalled his anger for a short while and he feels that he is the only one committed to his cause.

Stoffer challenges the group to go home and spass out in front of their friends and loved ones. After everyone backs out, Karen is the only one who goes through with his demands.

What happens after that I will leave for you to find out!

Lars von Trier wrote the film in four days. It is the second film in his Golden Heart Trilogy, between "Breaking The Waves" and "Dancer In The Dark". It has garnered a lot of controversy over the years with its taboo breaking story. I can understand why people would get upset with a film like this. It openly tries to provoke it's viewer and force a reaction. It can either be called a disgusting little film that takes pleasure in ridiculing people who cannot properly defend themselves, taking advantage of disability. Or it can be seen as razor sharp satire, at times guiltily funny. To me it has one clear message, it tells that life can be too serious for it's own good, and that people should not be so inhibited and find enjoyment in the simpler thing in life. And basically be yourself and don't give a damn about how others perceive you!

 Anyway, thats the message I got. I guess the film is open to a lot of interpretation haha!

The Dogma '95 Manifesto is a filmmaking movement started by Danish directors Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg. The rules set forth also called the "Vow of Chastity" are:

  1. Filming must be done on location. Props and sets must not be brought in. If a particular prop is necessary for the story, a location must be chosen where this prop is to be found.
  2. The sound must never be produced apart from the images or vice versa. Music must not be used unless it occurs within the scene being filmed.
  3. The camera must be a hand-held camera. Any movement or immobility attainable in the hand is permitted. The film must not take place where the camera is standing; filming must take place where the action takes place.
  4. The film must be in colour. Special lighting is not acceptable (if there is too little light for exposure the scene must be cut or a single lamp be attached to the camera).
  5. Optical work and filters are forbidden.
  6. The film must not contain superficial action (murders, weapons, etc. must not occur.)
  7. Temporal and geographical alienation are forbidden (that is to say that the film takes place here and now).
  8. Genre movies are not acceptable.
  9. The film format must be Academy 35 mm.
  10. The director must not be credited.
The directors wanted to go in the complete opposite direction as where film was going with high budgets and production values. Also it helped unknown filmmakers who could get funding from the Government or tv stations to make a recognised film without having to go down the Hollywood route.

I hope you enjoyed my take on this controversial classic. Please leave comments and get a conversation going on or leave some criticism it's up to you. There is also a link to my twitter page to the right, I would love it if you could join and spread the word!

The next blog will be for "Ghostwatch". I'm not too sure how many people have watched this outside the UK but there are links on the internet for viewing it. There is also a blog for it and you'll find a link to the page on the right.

Thanks again for taking the time to read the page!


Monday, 28 February 2011

Some Changes!

Hey there!

As you can see the name of the blog has changed! The previous name was a bit unimaginative so I've changed it to something slightly more imaginative! (Not much though hehe)

Also I have started a twitter page for the blog that is on the right of this page. Please feel free to join and discuss movies that you've seen recently or think I should check out, or anything else that's on your mind!

I'd like to thank everyone for taking the time to read this blog, I appreciate all the effort that has been put in by commenting on the page and all the support given. Please keep the comments coming as I do love a discussion!

Also check out some of the great blogs I have been reading that are also linked on the right hand side of the page, they are quite awesome!

I'm a bit stuck on what to write about next. It's between "The Idiots" or "Salo". You decide! If you have any better ideas also give me a shout!

Thank you all very much for reading!

Michael :)

Thursday, 24 February 2011

House on the Edge of the Park (La Casa Sperduta nel Parco)

One of the most censored films in British history, having been rejected a UK cinema certificate in 1981, put on the video nasty list after being released uncut on video, and finally being eventually passed by the BBFC in 2002, House on the Edge of the Park was released in Britain with almost 12 minutes of footage cut from the film, mostly all the rape and violence.

Sound like a hard movie to swallow? Well it is and it isn't! Although the film deals with some controversial issues, the film is saved by the excellent casting of David Hess and Giovanni Lombardo Radice as the seriously deranged Alex and his dimwitted sidekick Ricky.

The film begins with Alex driving along New York city when he see's a good looking young woman driving alongside him. After making gestures to her he cuts her off at a nearby park. He goes to her car and gets in next to her. He brutally rapes and strangles her to death and takes her locket as a trophy. This is shocking scene foreshadowing the events to come.

Some time afterward, Alex is finishing up in the garage where he works with Ricky. Alex is planning to go "boogeying" at a disco and promised that Ricky could come along. Just as they are about to finish, a fancy car drives into the garage. A young, rich couple called Tom and Lisa ask for some help as their car is having engine troubles. Alex refuses to help saying that they are closed but Ricky offers to help. He fixes the problem and Tom, grateful for the assistance, says that he and Lisa are going to a party. Alex asks if he and Ricky could tag along, and Tom agrees. Before leaving Alex says he needs something from his locker. His locker has a lot of knives in it, and he takes out a cut throat razor.

They eventually reach a large house beside a park, and are greeted by the owner Gloria, and her friends Glenda and Howard. Some disco music starts to play and Ricky eagerly proclaims to be a good dancer. He looks to Alex for approval who then tells him to show them his moves. Ricky begins to dance and gyrate then starts to take his clothes off while everyone is laughing. Alex is not happy about this as he thinks they're taking advantage of Ricky and laughing at him.

Afterwards they decide to play some poker. Alex and Lisa stay out of the game and he follows her up the stair and watches her have a shower. Lisa teases Alex to go in and scrub her back. As he does this she gets out the shower and leaves him there pretty angry. Alex comes back downstairs to see that Ricky is losing all his money at poker. "Be careful Ricky, they're taking you for a ride", says Alex. Tom and Howard decide to get rough with Alex who then proceeds to beat them up. He then takes out the razor to show he means business and forces everyone to sit down at the poker table. He then let's Ricky deal the cards and let's him win back all the money.

After this point Alex takes over the party brandishing his razor. He proceeds to humiliate, assault and rape for the remainder of the film, with Ricky doing as he says as if he is looking for approval. In my view, Ricky is and is not responsible for his own actions. On one hand he is more than happy to go along with Alex sadistic plans, but on the other his role is portrayed as if he can't understand or make decisions on his own. He looks to Alex for guidance and doesn't try and think for himself. It's only when he is forced into certain situations or in the middle of an action that he begins to realise the gravity of his actions. Although he is a villain he is also the most innocent if that makes any sense? He only does things to please Alex but doesn't have the capability to understand how wrong a situation is until he is face to face with it. To me this is Giovanni Lombardo Radice's finest role of all of his exploitation films.

Once again there are several shocking scenes at the end of the film, but I hate to give everyone the full story and spoil the film! (Haha!)

Ruggero Deodato has had his fair share of controversy over the years, mainly due to the horror films he made in the late 70's. This was the decade of horror that was raw, sleazy and unflinching. Maverick directors making horror films about situations that could happen in reality instead of the fantasy of the 60's. Italian cinema was at it's most extreme and innovative and its powers to exploit where at their peak. There are many things that Deodato regrets about his films but the fact of the matter is in my opinion there are not many films around that still have the same potency as when they were first released, but Deodato achieved just that!

Giovanni Lombardo Radice has always said that he is not the biggest fan of horror or the horror films that he made, but hopefully he appreciates how much of an important role he played in that era of his life.

David Hess has also made a good name for himself in horror. He is especially good at playing the maniac (too good if you ask me) and between this film and "Last House on the Left", although he plays a similar role, I personally think that "House on the Edge of the Park" holds his better performance.

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog. Once again It's been a lot of fun to write and hopefully there will be some comments and a nice little conversation. Oh, one other thing. I would like to change the name of the blog to something a bit more original but I don't know what! I have no imagination for this sort of thing so if anyone can think of a good name let me know! The best name will get a prize!

Thank you!

Michael :)

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Timecrimes (Los Cronocrímenes)

Hi everybody!

Sorry it has taken so long to write about another film but I'm finally back and have a few films I'm planning on writing about soon, the first of these being a little gem called Timecrimes.

Timecrimes is a 2007 Spanish film written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo. It deals with time travel and the paradoxes that can be created when things go wrong. Please bear with me as some of the story might be difficult to explain.

The film begins with the main character Hector (Karra Elejalde) relaxing in his garden. He is sitting in his deck chair with binoculars looking at the woods nearby. His wife (Candela Fernandez) has just finished building a coffee table in the garden and asks if Hector can drive into town to buy groceries. Hector bets his wife that she won't be able to fit the coffee table through the door to the house and if she does, then he will do the groceries. She loses the bet so drives into town.

Hector relaxes and begins to look at the woods again through his binoculars. He sees a woman in the woods beginning to undress, so curious, he decides to go into the woods to investigate. He finds the woman lying unconscious with no clothes on and as he gets closer to her, he is attacked by a man in a long coat with bandages covering his face. The man stabs him in the arm with a pair of scissors but he manages to run away.

Hector stumbles upon a house in the woods. Finding that there is no one there, he breaks in. He finds some first aid and a walkie talkie in one of the rooms. He speaks into the walkie talkie and a man replies. He tells the man about his attacker and is told by the man that his attacker is approaching and that he should leave the house and follow the road to his location. Hector follows the man's instructions and makes it to a building at the top of the road.

The man lets Hector into the building and he see's that he is in a lab with a large spherical contraption in the centre of the room with liquid in it. The man tells him to hide in the sphere while he tries to get rid of the attacker. The sphere closes over him and when it re-opens, he finds that he has went back in time one hour.

The man who had let him into the room is totally stunned that Hector has just appeared in the sphere and astounded that the device has finally worked. When hector leaves the building he looks through his binoculars to see his past self still sitting in the garden with his wife.

The man takes Hector back to the house to explain to him the dangers of time travel. He says that in order for his life to return to normal, the best thing to do is stay where he is and let his past self make his way to the time machine un-interrupted or else he could disrupt the flow of time and his present self would cease to exist. The man leaves Hector in the house and warns him not to leave the room or try and contact anybody.

Unfortunately Hector doesn't listen to the man's warnings and slowly realises that he only went into the time machine in the first place because of a chain of events put in place by his future self to try and rectify mistakes that he hasn't done yet!

Did any of that make sense? Unfortunately this is not a particularly easy film to describe. Also I don't really want to go too much into the story and ruin the plot for you.

This is a film that is very cleverly written and can be really confusing if you don't commit yourself to the story 100%. Everything that is in the film, even things that don't seem important to start with, have a reason for being there and are important to the story. You'll find that you will keep casting your mind back to earlier events as they start to reveal themselves later on in the film. This gives the film plenty of life with repeat viewings as you may notice things in different sittings.

If you like a film that will make you think (even if it does give you a headache haha) then this is the film for you! Also prepare to get completely drawn in by the story and it's complexities involving time travel paradoxes and then getting your mind in a twist by thinking too much in depth about "cause and effect" and other complex scientific terms......... In fact, that may just be me!!!!!!!!!

I usually like to put in a bit of history or a backstory to a film I write about but in this case, there isn't much to say. Only that Hollywood is planning an English languae remake (as per usual), and that the director is making a new alien invasion film called "Extraterrestre". As Wikipedia states, "Vigalondo writes that this will not be like a War of the Worlds with Tom Cruise, where a regular person manages to somehow closely witness all major invasion events. He writes that most people will experience a global alien invasion without even knowing it has happened, by listening to rumors, or engaging in pointless activities. Hence Extraterrestre." It sounds quite interesting to me!

I hope some of you enjoyed what I had to write and possibly feel compelled to watch this film as it really is a rewarding experience, as a film should really make you think and not completely take you for an idiot!

Thanks for reading I really enjoyed myself with this one! Please if you have time and you haven't already, join up. And also I would love to see some comments and get a little conversastion going!

The next film will be "The House On the Edge Of The Park" by Ruggero Deodato.

Take care!

Michael :)

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Back Again!

Hey there!

My apologies for being off this page so long. Unfortunately my mind has been on other things recently so my brain sort of wandered off for a while!

I thought hard about continuing with the blog or not but I've decided to give it another go. The page started as a means to keep my mind occupied and focused. I haven't been going to the cinema as much as I'd lilke to so I'm out of the loop a bit but I continue to watch plenty of movies at home, so I should have plenty of rubbish to talk about if anyone is slightly interested haha!

I'm not too sure what film to write about next so I'll see if anyone who knows me has any requests. If not I'll dig into my extensive collection and see what I can dig up! I'm sure it will be as eclectic as usual!

Remember if possible to leave a comment so I know I'm not just talking to myself as I do that enough already haha!

Thank you for reading,

Mick! :)