Showing posts from July, 2011

Creature from the Hillbilly Lagoon

Title: Creature from the Hillbilly Lagoon (aka “Seepage!”) (2007)
Rating: 2/5
Genre: Comedy, Horror, Sci-fi
Starring: Andrew Vellenoweth, Tanith Fiedler, William DeCoff
Director: Richard Griffin
Duration: 86 mins

“It Turns Rednecks Into Deadnecks”

Out on “Hillbilly Lagoon,” when they’re not skinny dipping, a group of college students collect data from the water with their wheelchair-bound professor. One of the students gets bit by an unseen fish, but they decide to dismiss the whole ordeal (even though he’s slowly developing gills and webbed fingers!). Meanwhile, a group of hillbillies are being killed off by a giant half-man/half-fish creature in ways too horrible to imagine (beer can stabbing, anyone?). Eventually the fates of these two groups intertwine, some are not at all as they appear, and a diabolical evolutionary plot to turn the world’s population into fish-people is unveiled. But will our heroes be able to foil this evil scheme AND destroy the creature from the Hillbilly Lago…

Highschool of the Dead

Title: Highschool of the Dead (HotD)
Rating: 2.5/5
Genre: Anime Series, Action, Horror,
Director: Tetsuro Araki
Language: Japanese
Duration: 25mins (12 Episodes)

The first time I've heard of an anime zombie flick and it would seem to me that the creators had come up with an untapped source for something original; with Madhouse (Black Lagoon) on animation, known for not being shy when it comes to graphic details, and a promising 18 sticker, I was looking forward to a classic Romero “Dawn of the Dead' theme with a touch of “Elfen Lied” thrown in; no shying away from good ol' fashioned gore but with a plot to back it all up. My expectations were undeniably high, and perhaps part of the reason for my apprehension was the subconscious knowledge that they might be too high. Which they were. Rather than meeting my hopes, the most concise summation of this short series would be “Resident Evil” meets “Gantz,” and assuming you're aware of both of these, that's pretty much a…

The Road

Title: The Road
Rating: 3.5/5
Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama, Thriller
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee
Director: John Hillcoat

Based on a book of the same name, this film now a couple of years old was initially one that didn't seem all that interesting, yet still I found myself with a copy in my possession. The notion of a post-apocalyptic wasteland seemed more a subtle twist to the same story of the love between a father and son with all the usual Hollywood fare, but as I began I realised that this is a film that was not afraid to do things a little bit differently. The names of many of the characters are never divulged, and neither is the cause of the apocalypse that has wiped out all the life on earth, both clearly done purposefully in reflection of their solitude; the notion that the audience doesn't need to know because ultimately it doesn't matter. In this wasteland that was once teeming with life, all thoughts are on survival, and as important as it is to have food…

Star Fleet: The Space Quest For F-01

Title: Star Fleet: The Space Quest For F-01
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Animation, Action, Sci-Fi,
Director: Go Nagai
Language: Japanese (English Dubs)

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away... well the 80s in Japan – which back then might as well have been another galaxy – the ripples of Star Wars, and the western film medium in general could be heard resonating and rattling the barely occupied skull of Go Nagai. This is a film that by its very concept alone should have made its way to cult classic status decades ago, and if not for its origins probably would have, but instead for too many it's destined to be 'just another weirdass Japanese flick' despite feeling about as Western as they come, heavily ripping off Star Wars throughout whilst making use of puppetry that comes straight out of Gerry Anderson's (Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Stingray, Thunderbirds) 'how to' guide. Back when it was first released it was a flop in Japan and it only received acclaim whe…


Title: Sinful (2006)
Rating: 2/5
Genre: Drama
Starring: Misty Mundae, Erika Smith, Ronnie Kerr
Director: Tony Marsiglia
Duration: 73 mins

Lilith has been dealt a rotten hand in life: a traumatic childhood, a horrible job, a husband who can’t get an erection, and an insatiable longing for a child she isn’t able to conceive. Next door to her lives the perfect couple, Aisha and Sam. They seem to have everything Lilith doesn’t: a healthy sex life, a positive outlook, and a baby on the way. Lilith seems to share a special, unexplainable connection with her neighbor; but when put into perspective, it is only an unwholesome jealousy that leads Lilith deeper and deeper into a self-created fantasy world that evokes underlying violent tendencies in her workplace and home.

Sinful was helmed by independent filmmaker Tony Marsiglia who had previously made such softcore flicks such as Lust for Dracula, Sin Sisters, and Dr. Jekyll & Mistress Hyde. These films also feature the acting talents of po…

Charlie’s Death Wish

Title: Charlie’s Death Wish (2005)
Rating: 3.5/5
Genre: Action
Starring: Phoebe Dollar, Ron Jeremy, Randal Malone
Director: Jeff Leroy

After her sister was murdered by thugs in a jail cell, gun saleswoman Charlie (Phoebe Dollar) spends every waking moment investigating the culprits and plotting her violent revenge. What turns out behind her sister’s murder is a large criminal organization led by a drug lord (Randal Malone) that has Hollywood in the palm of his hand. Left to deal with all this mayhem is good cop Rosenberg (Ron Jeremy), who is sympathetic to Charlie’s vendetta but isn’t exactly crooked enough to allow her a pardon. If that wasn’t enough, an eccentric documentary filmmaker does his best to expose the corruption of the LAPD and the 2nd Amendment as he incidentally gets himself in the middle of what he dubs the “Deadly Dixie Chick Killer” murders. These characters and events all lead to nothing but action and carnage… and there can only be one winner.

Before I start raving …


Title: Super
Rating: 4.5/5
Genre: Action, (Black) Comedy, Drama
Starring: Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Kevin Bacon
Director: James Gunn

When I first saw the advert for this when viewing 'Submarine' and '13 Assassins' recently, I was instantly drawn into the concept. Constructed on a the B-Movie budget of merely $2million you can toss aside any notion of CGI effects or elaborate set-pieces; taking the gritty realism of the cult classic "SuperGuy," the campiness and classic-comic-inspired effects of the old Batman flicks and toss in some "Dr. Horrible" brand of clumsy comedy from our hapless hero and you aren't all that far from the recipe that makes this so unique. It is our bumbling protagonist in Frank (Wilson) whose life is turned upside down when his recovering drug addict wife (Tyler) is “kidnapped” - albeit willingly – by the local drug baron Jacques (Bacon), and when the Detective (Henry) refuses to help, he turns to the only person he knows c…

Resident Evil 4: Afterlife

Title: Resident Evil 4: Afterlife
Rating: 3/5
Genre: Action, Horror
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Wentworth Miller
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Sometimes I get strange glares when people see this saga nestled in my DVD collection; how can I so openly slander mainstream productions when have known atrocities such as this on my shelf? A film that you know is going to be filled with cliché cheesy dialogue, have all the plot of a baby book and a B-Movie sensibility that seems confused as to whether it wants to try to ride with the big Blockbusters or say 'fuck it' and make something SyFy would be proud of. And that's largely my point; you know exactly what you are going to get – assuming this isn't your entry point to the now four-film long series, with a fifth reported on the way – and as awful as much of it glaringly is, it never fails to disappoint the fan in me. There are more zombie creations, more butt-kicking action, Claire Redfield is back to complement th…

13 Assassins

Title: 13 Assassins (Extended Version)
Genre: Action, Drama
Rating: 3.5/5
Starring: Kôji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada Yûsuke Iseya
Director: Takeshi Miike
Language: Japanese

When this was showing at my local indie cinema, I just knew that it was only a matter of time before I went to go see it. Reviving the stagnating 'chanbara' genre (that samurai flicks to most people) of the 60s, he starts to work bringing the old '63 classic back to life. Without taking the same modern twists expected from the likes of 'Azumi' and 'Chanbara Beauty,' this is more than a simple action film but a period drama with as much in common with Kurosawa's classics as it does contemporary offerings, going to great lengths to make sure the audience is aware of the context the film finds itself in. With the Edo period of Japan coming to a close, the country has long since been in a state of peace but the next in line for the Shogunate of the powerful Akashi clan, Naritsugu, threatens …


Title: Submarine
Genre: Drama
Rating: 3.5/5
Starring: Craig Roberts, Yasmin Paige, Sally Hawkins, Noah Taylor, Paddy Considine
Director: Richard Ayoade

Picked for a number of film festivals including Sundance, Berlin and Toronto, it isn't long into the film that I understand the reason why. Anyone whose spent any time observing the films these festivals have helped promote will have noticed a format many of them follow; a family with relationship problems, often a romantic interest and a style of cinematography that attempts to 'break from the mold' provided by Hollywood to fall slap bang into another one, using the revelationary idea of attempting to make this all the more naturalistic and as such provide pitfalls and peaks to keep you guessing despite eventually reaching the expected conclusion. Truth be told if I hadn't noticed the directors name – best known for his role as 'Moss' from the show “IT Crowd” – I probably wouldn't have bothered at all, but w…