Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017)

From the guy who made the crunching Bone Tomahawk, comes another brutal drama with emphasis on the brutality.

This movie literally kicks ass to such a degree that you could say it is more of a horror film disguised as a drama, owing more to the infamous prison-splatter Riki-Oh, than the feelgood of Shawshank Redemption.

Vince Vaughn surprises by playing a rather subdued lead for once, lacking his usual over-the-top theatrics. He's also an excellent fighter, with a peculiar simplistic style. It's not so much kung-fu, as simple fist fighting performed with impeccable precision and tremendous force.

Most of all though, there's a brooding atmosphere throughout the film and you can feel that it's only a matter of time before it explodes. And without spoiling anything, I can promise you that the ending does not disappoint ;)


Monday, April 1, 2019

Dave Made a Maze (2017)

If you loved Cube (and who doesn’t) then you probably wanted to see more of the same. So you doubtlessly tracked down the sequels, only to be disappointed by their lame attempt at coming up with convoluted explanations to it all and end up in an uninteresting mess.

I’m here to tell you that Dave Made a Maze is what you were actually looking for. The uber-quirky film takes the same concept of a small group of people stuck in a fantastical maze, and runs laps with the silliness.

How silly you ask? Well, for starters, the maze is made from cardboard and it’s much bigger on the inside than the outside. There’s also a weird minotaur creature in there, a long puppet sequence, as well as a huge cardboard vagina that makes people’s skin melt. Yep, you read that right.

What more could you possibly want from a movie?


Saturday, March 30, 2019

Apostle (2018)

YES, YES, YES! This is what it’s all about, people. You’ve burrowed through countless shitty films to the point of almost giving up on modern cinema, only to be taken by storm by something that is more wonderful than you could ever imagine. This is it!

Gareth Evans is quickly becoming my new favorite director. After his mindblowing Raid series, the auteur follows up with what can only be described as a spiritual successor to The Wicker Man, with all the glory that entails.

The screenplay is excellent. The acting is outstanding. The effects are fantastic. The soundtrack is unrelentingly sinister. And as great as all that is, what truly takes this film above and beyond is the cinematography. Each scene is like a painting with beautiful colors, lighting and scenery. And to top it all of, the way the camera moves is just as perfect and precise as you can expect from the meticulously choreographed fight scenes of the Raid films.

Here's a few screens to whet your appetite

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Dead End Drive-In (1986)

Why the hell did it take me so long to check out this beautiful gem?

Like a perfect mix between Street Trash & Troma, it features retro-futuristic punk nihilism with drops of Kafka and a sprinkle of The Cars that Ate Paris topped with Mad Max. I'm telling you, this film's got it all!
The cinematography is also fantastic and the colors are like a surreal candy dream that almost makes me wish I still was into acid.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Ebola Syndrome (1996)

If ever you find yourself cheering more for the badguy than the do-gooders trying to sabotage their evil plans, then this film is for you.

It's the story of one of the most disgustingly lovable baddies of all time. We follow an ugly, bad-smelling psychopath on adventures of rape, murder and cannibalism, as he abuses a bunch of undeserving victims, and even contracts Ebola along the way.

Honk Kong cinema legend Anthony Wong does and outstanding job as the most obnoxious human being on the planet, whose utter indifference to basic decency is nothing but a delight.

And if that all sounds extremely depressing, then trust me when I say that it's actually not at all. The general fucked uppedness of this whole thing makes it into a pitch black comedy of sorts. But make sure to get the full uncut version though, as that's kind of the whole point.


Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Night Comes for Us (2018)

OH YES! This is a pure orgasm of a film that made me so euphoric, it reminded me of why I fell in love with movies in the first place.

The story is not that important. There's some stuff about Asian Triad-mafia, hitmen with exceptional skills, and a little girl who everyone wants to kill. It's pretty much just a bunch of shallow excuses to set up one over-the-top fight scene after the other, where barbaric killing machines effectively turn each other into so much minced meat.

As you might have guessed, this is not a film for people with a low tolerance for pain. Every punch is a bone-cracking hammer of raw agony that you almost feel on your own body. Blood gushes onto walls and body parts fly, while knives, machetes and axes chop away huge parts of meat from a never-ending flow of willing victims. 

Of course there's also a sprinkle of eccentric characters with their individual favorite weapons, who drops ├╝ber-cool lines likes:

- You're going to regret that.
- What? That I called you a bitch?
- No. That you're wearing white clothes.

The choreography is a masterwork in itself, and the camera work is the best I've ever seen. The filmmakers don't rely on hyperactive editing to make things more intense, but instead lets the camera follow hand movements, so that we smash into the victim along with the fist.

The whole thing is so brutally awesome, that it makes The Matrix look like your mother's favorite cooking show. And just like The Matrix once raised the bar for the action genre in a way that has been mimicked ever since, we can only hope that The Night Comes for Us will have just as much impact. There's little doubt that this is the best movie of the year, and Hollywood better take notes as THIS is the way action is supposed to be.

There's also a heft dose of pitch black humor, and the carousel of violence had me giggling like a child, clapping my hands with each new mutilation. And when it was finally over, all I wanted to do was to wipe the blood from my eyes, and go again.


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Kill List (2011)

At first, Kill List appears to be a gritty drama about a kindhearted family man. However, when we discover the protagonist is a professional hitman, the genre takes a turn toward hard crime. And as he kills, the genre twists again and again, tearing away the false sense of security that was established in the beginning.

This playful approach to filmmaking put director Ben Wheatley on the map, and I can promise you that this is not the last time I will write about one of his genre-bending movies.


Monday, September 17, 2018

Men & Chicken (2015)

When asked who is the greatest Danish filmmaker of all time, most people will say Lars von Trier, Nicolas Winding Refn or maybe Susanne Bier.

They would all be wrong.

Because none of those can compete with the greatness that is Anders Thomas Jensen. Although his name is not even half as well know as those above, it only takes a short glimpse at his filmography to realize his superiority. Actually, I found it quite astounding to discover that all the greatest Danish films from the last 20 years, were either written or directed by the same guy:

In China They Eat Dogs, The Green Butchers, Adam's Apples, Flickering Lights, At the World's End... all from the mind of Anders Thomas Jensen. Heck, the first thing the guy wrote was the short film De Nye Lejere, which was later remade into the Oscar winning The New Tenants.

Everything he touches turns to gold, and Men & Chicken is no different. As a perfect mix of drama, comedy and mystery, with a hint of sci-fi, it entertains to no end.

So don't be left out. Jump on the Jensen train!