“Prevenge,” directed by Alice Lowe

Movie, 2016 Decidedly offbeat slasher revenge film, in which a foetus instructs its mother to despatch a number of people involved in her father’s death. A film which is, in parts, quite disturbing and comedic, in which gore and an unhinged narrative push things along, with little let up. While there are a few plot issues and while the focus of the film feels quite … Continue reading “Prevenge,” directed by Alice Lowe

“The Happiness of the Katakuris,” directed by Takashi Miike

Movie, 2001 Chaotic horror comedy musical tracking the ups but mainly the grisly downs of a family hotel deep in a countryside waiting for a road to bring trade. If all this sounds a little unwieldy, it is. The inventive, though redundant stop animation makes things even patchier. Nods to The Sound of Music, zombies and various subplots run along and run away from the … Continue reading “The Happiness of the Katakuris,” directed by Takashi Miike

“The Headless Ghost,” directed by Peter Graham Scott

Movie, 1959 Lightweight caper, hugely foreshadowing the plot Hanna-Barbera rehashed so many times for Scooby Doo. Three kids hide out in a haunted castle, trying to help the titular ghost reconnect with its head, but having to deal with obstacles along the way. If this was a sharp cracking, effects-driven family frenzy, it’d struggle. Given the film’s vintage, the love interest and castle’s apparent hard … Continue reading “The Headless Ghost,” directed by Peter Graham Scott

“The Cat and the Canary”, directed by Radley Metzger

Movie, 1979 An odd, groaning, wooden grotesque film, masking elements of horror and mystery into an old fashioned house on a stormy night. The film would entirely crumble under the weight of its own cliches, were it not that there are conspicuously so many of them. Then there are the narrative switches and entirely predictable twists and a cast which stumbles, camp and embarrassed to … Continue reading “The Cat and the Canary”, directed by Radley Metzger

"Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice?" directed by Robert Aldrich

Movie, 1969 Curious horror, bridging the psychological and psychopathic with a little bludgeoning and some kitsch and camp thrown in. Echoes of all sorts of films are in here, packaged a little hurriedly, so that while effective in places, the film’s uneven. Good performances from the rather demented female leads, even if the plot’s a little leaky and daft and the dialogue and romance between … Continue reading "Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice?" directed by Robert Aldrich

"Young Frankenstein", directed Mel Brooks

Movie, 1974 Broad affectionate parody of Universal Horror films, with silly gags which feel both of their time and still worthy of a good chuckle, as Wilder, Feldman and co go through their paces. This is also a terrific looking film, wonderfully recreating the atmosphere of the setting of the original movies, nowhere more so than in the village and villager scenes, most ably led … Continue reading "Young Frankenstein", directed Mel Brooks

"He Never Died," directed by Jason Krawczyk

Movie. 2015 Downbeat, comedic and, in places, moving zombie film, which brings some interesting touches to a well-worn genre. Chief among these is the casting of Henry Rollins and his largely successful portrayal of the film’s anti-hero, particularly in his emotionally compromised interactions with the two main female characters. With a more coherent plot and a few tweaks on the gore and some of the … Continue reading "He Never Died," directed by Jason Krawczyk

"The Voices", directed Marjane Satrapi

Movie, 2014 An odd, grisly comedy which through its main sequence of events – principally the fates of the three main female characters in the drama and the use and portrayal of mental health – leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Yes, this is entertaining and well paced and, from a technical point of view, very well done, but it’s not really good enough … Continue reading "The Voices", directed Marjane Satrapi