Tag Archives: W

The Warriors, Streets of Fire and Mothra Vs Godzilla – episode 145

Streets of Fire

In this one, we cover the two Walter Hill iconic movies The Warriors and Streets of Fire, and for our Kaiju movie we cover Mothra Versus Godzilla

Other stuff covered:

Movies

  • Zulu
  • Romper Stomper
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Dead Snow
  • Hanzo The Razor: Sword of Justics
  • The Black Cat (1981)
  • Madhouse (1974)
  • A Bucket of Blood
  • Cobra
  • Hound of the Baskervilles (1939)

Other Stuff

  • Tengen Toppa Gurran Lagann (anime)
  • Attack on Titan (anime)
  • Dark Souls (video game)
  • Spyro (PS One video game)
  • Batman Beyond (animated series)

Westworld, Futureworld and Rodan – episode 143

Westworld

Mark pulls a solo shift in this one, covering a whole set of movies:

  • Westworld
  • Futureworld
  • Rodan
  • High Anxiety
  • Viy
  • Revenge of the Nerds
  • Revenge of the Nerds 2: Nerds in Paradise
  • Hour of the Wolf
  • Fantastic Voyage
  • Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
  • All This And World War II
  • Hold the Ghost
  • Heavy Metal
  • Of Unknown Origin
  • Four Lions
  • Switchblade Sisters

We Are What We Are (2010) 3/5

We Are What We Are

An everyday story of a dysfunctional family who happen to be ritualistic cannibals…

The film has all the elements to work and be great, with nice camerawork, acting and tension, but it’s lack of proper setup or explanation, even through indirect dialogue gets frustrating in the end, and ultimately you really don’t care about these people. It felt like it could have been so much better if the script had had a little more work.

We Need to Talk about Kevin 4/5

We Need to about talk about Kevin

What would it be like to have to raise a kid who is a psychopath? To live among people who vilified you for the actions of your child? To blame yourself, and be in fear that people will confront you with your fears every minute of the day?

It’s a very difficult subject, and front and centre to this movie. Very well acted, directed and written, it has a central coldness in tone that is probably unavoidable, but isn’t helped by the nonlinear nature of the presentation. I felt more at ease with this difficult subject when the narrative stayed linear, but even then it was disconcerting.

A fine movie, one that would make a good double bill with Stoker, but by no means an easy watch.

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? – Odd One Out 057

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

If you want to hear about a movie where you’d see some messed up psychological and physical torture by an old lady, this is the movie for you!

Even if you don’t watch to see a movie like that, listen anyway!

Wolf of Wall Street 4/5

Wolf of Wall Street

The 3 hours just flies by for the most part, and even though it is baggy in places, the scenes that play out remain pretty entertaining. Leo is doing great work here, as is Jonah Hill, and it’s kind of fun watching these scumbags enjoy themselves at the expense off of the faceless schmucks they rip off (that side of the story is something you never see here).

There are a lot of very solid scenes, and many sales pep talks, but my favourite scene my far is the one involving the ‘lemmons’. I was laughing, wincing, gasping, laughing again, as Scorcese uses his director tricks to put us in Leo’s perspective, and then show us what actually happened. Terrific film-making.

I also hear there may be a 4-hour cut coming out on blu sometime. Sign me up, I’ll be buying that.

World’s Greatest Dad 3/5

World's Greatest Dad

As I watched this, I thought I really didn’t like it. It seemed disjointed, and I found virtually all the characters unlikeable or positively annoying. I cannot fault the movie on the acting, sound design or cinematography though, the problem I have is with the dialogue/story mechanics.

However, by the end, I did find much of the imagery stuck with me, along with the mood. Bits of it still annoy me, such as some of the characters and character dynamics seeming pointless with respect to the movie (for example, the girlfriend Ginger – who obviously had maturity/daddy issues, but to what point?), but it seemed there were 3 characters I did like, and 1 performance I greatly respected. The 3 characters I liked were Robin Williams’ father, the friend of the repulsive son, and the elderly neighbour next door. They were essentially good, kind people, with their own weaknesses, who found some solace with each other.

The performance I admired was that of Daryl Sabara as the thoroughly unpleasant, unlikeable and frankly repellent son. It must be tough for a young actor to play such an irredeemably terrible person, a braggard, a foul-mouthed pervert whose aggressive, immature character holds zero charm. It was a terrific performance I think.

I’m not sure I can recommend it – Goldthwaite’s other movie, God Bless America – is a ferocious, fun-ride that worked a lot better – but it didn’t bore me. Annoyed me a little, but any film that has imagery and mood that sticks with you like this is one that’s worth a little time to check out.

White Zombie 3/5

White Zombie

Whilst not quite as good as some of the other great, weird horror movies of the 30s (Freaks, Island of Dr Moreau, The Black Cat), it really works well whenever the zombies are on screen. It works less well in the stagey, ridiculously melodramatic performances, the ridiculous pauses to indicate significance, and Lugosi being Dracul-ish at every opportunity.

However, I did definitely enjoy the zombie/walking dead parts, and can happily ignore the pointless scenes, the constant Lugosi hand-gestures to indicate he’s turning up his mesmeric power to 11, and enjoy the odd tension, the pretty ‘white zombie’ of the title, and the vulture that looked distinctly like an eagle. Oh and a pretty good ending.

The Wicker Man 1973

The Wicker Man

Such an electrifying movie in the last act, made so by the baffling, unsettling buildup throughout the film.

This staunch, upright policeman represents us, the viewer, as he first strides, then falters, through this strange island culture where everything seems sexualised and wanton and weird. He is as confused as us, the viewers. The villagers veer between odd and friendly, and almost everything said and done seems distinctly off-kilter.

We see this staunch Christian feel himself diminished and isolated as he realises he is in an environment like he’s never encountered, where the friendly words, and seemingly joyful music has an underpinning of debauchery, cruelty and barbarity he finds hard to cope with – from the beetle deliberately tied to the pin to go round and round until it’s tied up, to the little girl made to put a frog in her mouth to get rid of a sore throat, to the odd tricks the children play on the policeman.

The film itself is indeed a horror movie, but defies genre. It’s a dark, dark comedy of sorts – reminiscent of the old TV series The Prisoner in its disconcerting changing of familiar buildings and clothes into something alien – a musical (the music infuses the film almost wholly, with the only odd music being an out-of-place funky electric guitar score very near the end when Woodward is trying to escape pursuit), and a detective story.

The vacant smiles and constant digressions the villagers and Lord make when talking to the policeman just keep building and building the tension, until the nature of the old religion makes itself clear.

Finally, you feel that both Christian and heathen are equally wrong and equally impotent as the villagers sing and dance on the windy grassland. This sacrifice feels both dreadful (Woodward is amazing in the last act) and pointless, as the villagers cavort in the windy sunset, you feel the gesture they are making to nature is pointless, and nature will do what it will do, and the actions of men won’t change a thing.

A great film, horror or not.

The Wicker Man (1973) Mysterious and unique horror movie 10/10

The Wicker Man (1973)

In the Cinemas in 1973 but made a few years earlier, The Wicker Man is an exceptional and very classy horror movie, dealing with a seemingly gentle though unusual society, seen through the eyes of a stout Christian.

A policeman is sent to a remote Scottish island called Summer Isle to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. He’s a dedicated old-school Christian, and is first disconcerted by the strangeness of the community, then shaken by its open sexuality and possibly passive-aggressive stance to his questions, and then finally disgusted by its adherence to Pagan rituals. Finally his investigations lead him to the truth behind the girl’s disappearance, and the more startling secret behind that…

This film is wonderful. Edward Woodward (probably known to many of you as the star of ‘The Equalizer’) is excellent casting for the dour and grim hero of this piece, as is Christopher Lee as ‘Lord Summerisle’, leader of this community. This film is also whimsical (in the folky music) and erotic (with Britt Ekland playing the pub landlord’s daughter Willow, who tries to entice the policeman by singing a slightly bawldy song while dancing). Woodward convinces you he is deeply tempted, but also a man of conviction that can hold out to such temptation.

This is a slow-burn movie, but does convey a sense of off-kilter from the very beginning, as the policeman arrives. We are aware he is an outsider given his uniform and his obvious fish-out-of-water demeanour, and we empathise with his dislocation, I think. The growing dread of the policeman as he nears the truth of the disappearance is obvious and palpable. The film builds confidently as it goes, and the different elements (music, sex, ritual, mysticism) are conveyed brilliantly through the dialogue and direction. This wouldn’t have worked with a less talented director and screenwriter, but here it is just wonderful. The sense of creeping, dawning dread has you on the edge of your seat at times, just waiting to see the next discovery in the investigation.

The film is also remarkable as it is one of the most cliche-free movies you’ll see. It doesn’t rely on the usual horror movie conventions to frame and create its tension…it’s more like a detective movie with a touch of the eerie and erotic much of the time, but it is definitely tense and ultimately horrific.

I’ve been very careful not to give away too much here, as the whole film should be a pleasure taken first-hand, and if you’ve not seen it and don’t know about the story from start to end, I envy you and urge you to see it.
Rating: ODD, 8/10
Suitable for adults only.

Wayne’s World and top 5 videogames that would make good movies Episode 015

In this episode, Mark and Sam review Wayne’s World, and discuss the videogames we’d most like to see turned into movies. We also discuss a number of movies, TV shows and games, including Red State, Dante’s Inferno, and South Park