directors, exploitation, Film festivals, Hidden treasures, horror, Movies

Cinema Rediscovered 2018: Trapped in THE MAFU CAGE. When is a cult film not a cult film?

Shown as part of this year’s Cinema Rediscovered Festival at the Bristol Watershed, The Mafu Cage had me stumbling out of the cinema wondering WTF did I just watch… so I had to tell you about it. Continue reading

Classics, Film festivals, Hidden treasures, Movies

Event preview – Cinema Rediscovered, Bristol Watershed and other venues, Thur 26th – Sun 29th July

Entering its third year the Cinema Rediscovered film festival has established itself as one of the most exciting cinematic events in Bristol’s arts calendar.  The four day festival aims to present audiences with an opportunity to re-experience a range of cinema from contemporary classics to rarities in the big screen setting they were conceived for. Here follow some personal highlights chosen from this year’s programme. Continue reading

comment, directors, gems of netflix, guest blog, Hidden treasures, horror, Movies, Verite film magazine

Guest blog – XX marks the future

Hello my good fiends, to mark the passing of Samhain and the beginning of winter, I am bringing you only the second ‘guest’ post in this blogs brief history. A few words of introduction, apart from being a dear friend of mine (one who I shall be having for dinner soon) Mr David William Hall was my editor at the late and highly lamented Verite Magazine (all issues archived online here). Along with Toby Weidmann editor of Official Walking Dead Magazine, I credit David’s gossamer editorial touch, critical insight, and encouragement for making my writing at least passably readable.

Obviously the views and opinions that follow are the author’s own, but they appear with the complete endorsement of this blog, with the caveat that I liked the Annie Clark segment of XX, and still think Rosemary’s Baby is a classic horror film. Continue reading

Hidden treasures, Martial Arts

Hidden Treasures – Dragon (2011)

Two bandits are killed during an attempted robbery by Liu Jin-xi, a simple village paper maker (martial arts superstar Donnie Yen). The terrified village artisan succeeds in defeating mens’ violent assault by blind luck. However, an investigating detective Xu (Takeshi Kaneshiro) comes to believe there is more to the case.  Continue reading

action tosh, Hidden treasures, Movies, Reviews

Hidden treasures – McBain

McBain is a prime slice of 80s action nonsense (it may have been released in 1991, but it couldn’t be more eighties unless it rolled up its sleeves and wore espadrilles). I’m not going to beat around the bush here. This isn’t a review. I’m just going to describe the film’s plot because it’s too hilarious. Continue reading

Hidden treasures, horror, Movies, Reviews

Hidden Treasures – Warlock

1691, Boston, a Warlock (Sands) is imprisoned pending execution by burning “over a basket of living cats”. The Warlock has been captured by witch hunter Giles Redferne (Grant), however on the eve of the execution he is able to escape, disappearing into a magical vortex. Before the portal closes Redferne dives through, leaving the missionary fathers fair scratching their heads. Continue reading

Hidden treasures, horror, Movies, Reviews

Hidden Treasures – From Beyond

Times have been a bit tough for fans of horror on the big screen lately, I’m not sure I can remember such a miserable year for horror films on UK screens than 2014 since the dark days of the mid-nineties, with only The Babadook really representing a break from tepid mainstream franchise horror. Which isn’t so say there isn’t still great horror to be found, but it lurks in the darker regions of streaming services or hides behind the generic DVD covers demanded by supermarkets. Everything has to look like everything else, so an original low budget film like 2013’s smart Resolution looks like any of a dozen depressing torture porn flicks racked next to it. Continue reading

Classics, Hidden treasures, horror, Movies, Reviews

Hidden treasures – Possession

Andrzej Zulawski’s 1981 film Possession is a daunting movie of which to attempt a synopsis, let alone a review, defying the conventions of mainstream western film making and acting while also aligning itself with the horror genre to produce a film that is as unique and disturbing as David Lynch’s Eraserhead. Despite winning major awards for its lead actress Isabelle Adjani (César Award for Best Actress, Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award), Possession was banned in the UK on its video release as part of the Director of Public Prosecutions idiotic campaign against video nasties. In America, the film was drastically recut and re-scored with stupid optical effects added in a doomed attempt to make it appear more like a conventional demonic possession film. The films recent blu ray release (from Second Sight in the UK) offers an opportunity to sample one of the most singular of European genre films. Simply put, if you have never seen Possession then you have never seen a movie like it before. If you have seen Possession you know you have never seen anything like it since. Continue reading

best of 2014, Hidden treasures, Movies, Reviews, science fiction

Hidden treasures – The Congress

Here is one of the most recent films to feature in my ‘Hidden Treasures’ selections. Ari Folman’s The Congress was actually only released in the UK in 2014 and is fresh to DVD and Blu Ray here. It is the sort of film that seems tailor made to become a cult movie, but in the current climate many films are being lost in the sheer volume of material available to view (legitimately) online. I saw The Congress at the London Film Festival in 2013 and it is fair to say it blew me away, especially on a big screen with a thunderous sound system. Continue reading