Beware, ahead lies spoilers and madness in a sort of defence of gazillian dollar mega-biffage epic Batman v Superman. I’ve probably lost my mind… Continue reading
This article was first published in the January 2015 issue of Verite Film Magazine. Before you proceed this was for a running feature called ‘In the frame in which Verite writers wrote about their favorite scenes in movies. This was my one entry in the strand and looks at a scene from near the very end of director David Fincher’s 1995 masterpiece of neo-noir horror, Se7en. If you haven’t seen the movie and you read this, I will personally visit you in the night and force feed you Spam till you burst. Spoilers okay! You have been warned. Continue reading
Of all film genres, the one that has simultaneously seized the day and arguably been most negatively impacted by the massive shifts in film production, distribution and consumption caused by digital technologies has been the horror film. Continue reading
Written by the warrior woman, Jacqui Barr
Mother’s milk is sacred in the world of Mad Max: Fury Road. To see an adult male drink it is transgressive not just because we are squeamish about such things – after all this is a post-apocalyptic world and the film starts with Tom Hardy’s Max Rockatansky eating a live two-headed lizard – no, it is because this milk is being coerced from mothers – dead babies in arms – in order for men to trade it. In the brutal patriarchy that has risen in the wasteland even a woman’s breast milk is not respected. Therefore when Max, covered in another person’s blood, washes himself in mothers’ milk, he is definitively reborn. It is a hugely important totemic symbol to the women he travels with, and for the audience it signals that (blimey-oh-riley) Max has become a feminist. Continue reading
The first public cinema in Britain, the historic Regent Street Cinema reopened last night (the 6th of May) following a three year refurbishment process.
London’s first public film screening was held at the site on the 21st of February 1896 when the Lumière Brothers brought their Cinématographe show across the Channel from Paris. By accounts cinema in a capital got off to a rather slow start with only 54 customers in attendance, but the popularity of this new form of entertainment soon grew as it become incorporated into music hall programmes. The cinema was closed to the public and converted into a lecture theatre some 35 years ago by its owners the University of Westminster, now it is resurrected as a repertory cinema showcasing a carefully curated programme of contemporary independent, foreign language, and classic cinema. Continue reading
Following on from my previous re-blog about I Spit On Your Grave, I thought I’d follow that up with a second post about another notorious ‘video nasty’ known for its shocking and transgressive use of sexualised violence. In this case it is a film I think is considerably more artful in execution, as well as explicitly political in subtext, the 1980 Italian film The House on the Edge of the Park. This was originally written in 2012 comparing the film to a Chilean horror film called Hidden in the Woods which had been presented with some fanfare as the latest thing in shock at that year’s FilmFour London FrightFest festival. Needless to say, Hidden in the Woods has been quickly forgotten (although predictably there is a US remake mooted) but The House on the Edge of the Park is still notorious.
The news that Anchor Bay has taken the rights to a second sequel to the 2010 remake of I Spit on Your Grave first made me despair that anyone would wish to franchise rape revenge. Then it made me reach back a few years and dig out a piece I wrote on the first blu-ray release of the original 1978 film. I’ve given this a light rewrite from the version first put online in 2010.
I should forewarn you that this isn’t really a review, more an essay/comment piece and as such will thoroughly spoil the film’s plot (such as it is possible to ‘spoil’ I Spit on Your Grave). Also while the majority of the original video nasties are now rather quaint, this one and a few others (Cannibal Holocaust, Last House on the Left, and House on the Edge of the Park spring to mind) retain their power to shock and appall. As such the plot details may offend. If in doubt, do not read on. Continue reading