Saturday, 1 September 2018

Apocalyptic Consumerism: George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (1978) - A 40th Anniversary Retrospective

Almost a decade had gone by since George A. Romero revolutionized horror cinema with his reinvention of the zombie in 1968’s 'Night of the Living Dead', when he started to develop its follow-up. By this time, Romero’s reanimated, rotting, shambling, and flesh-eating undead, and his rules of how they can be killed - damage to the brain, or set on fire - were the definitive interpretation, becoming so iconic and forever deeply embedded in popular culture. Over these past 50 years, this incarnation has influenced every creator that has contributed to zombie mythology in all its forms - film, TV, books, comics, and video games. 

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) - A 30th Anniversary Retrospective

'Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood' opens with a very cool intro, albeit an unnecessary one. Fading in to a cemetery at night during a storm, we hear the voice of narrator Walt Gorney, who is familiar to fans of the franchise as the lovable Crazy Ralph in 'Friday the 13th' (1980), and 'Friday the 13th Part 2' (1981). Not that we need to be told at this point, but Gorney narrates how Jason Voorhees always comes back. Intercut with the footage of the cemetery is various moments from 'Part 2', Friday the 13th Part III (1982), 'Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter' (1984), and 'Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives' (1986). The sequence returns frequently to the cemetery between these clips. This is until we see the headstone of Jason’s grave explode from a lightning strike, which is actually unused footage from 'Jason Lives', of which we are then shown a recap of its events that lead into the prologue of the story here. The narration finishes with, “People forget, he’s down there… waiting.”

Sunday, 11 March 2018

I Wish I Had a Death Sentence than Watch Death Wish (2018)

When his family’s home is robbed, surgeon Dr. Paul Kersey’s wife is murdered, and his daughter put in a coma. He (Bruce Willis) becomes frustrated by the police’s lack of progress in catching the people responsible, and coupled with his concerns of the alarming crime rate around him, and conversing with others about how inadequate the law is, one of whom is his father-in-law, he decides to start taking the law into his own hands. He takes a gun from a shot gang member brought into the hospital where he works, and wearing a hoodie, he goes out at night hunting the dregs of society. After his first killings of a group of hoodlums, he earns the nickname “The Grim Reaper”, when he is filmed on a smartphone by a witness, and the footage is uploaded to the internet. Then by chance, one of the men that had a part in the robbery on his house is brought into the ICU, wearing one of the watches that were taken. Using their phone, he gets the information he needs to help him track down the scumbags. More carnage follows.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Clive Barker Has Such Sights to Show You: Hellraiser (1987) - 30 Years of Pleasure and Pain [Part 2 of 2]

In a showcase of SFX ingenuity, the resurrection of Frank Cotton is a remarkably repulsive sight of body horror that would make David Cronenberg proud. The gooey spectacle of the viscera of a human body reassembling itself from beneath the floorboards is a marvel of practical effects, which is pitch-perfectly executed by Bob Keen and his crew of special effects make-up artists.