Gurinder Chadha is a very unique voice in the film world who always manages to lend a much needed voice to cultures we don’t usually see too much of in mainstream film. “Bend it Like Beckham” was a crowd pleasing comedy drama about cultural conformity and societal pressures, and “Blinded By the Light” follows the same basic platform. I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece, but at the end of Chadha’s comedy drama musical, I found it to be a pleasant diversion with one hell of a great soundtrack. I admit while the film didn’t stick with me, I spent the rest of the night humming Springsteen’s songs in my head.
Happy Halloween one and all! It’s the final hours of Halloween 2019 and it’s been quite the month. I felt I’d be remiss if I didn’t include another Shorts Round Up of the Week featuring some great horror shorts you can dig your teeth in to before Day of the Dead on November 1st. Included is a tale of a spooky cookie jar, a series of loft crimes that goes bat shit insane, and a serial killer targeting vulnerable young girls.
As always if you’d like to submit a short film or two (of any genre), submissions are always open!
One of the most influential J-Horror movie series has been compiled on to Blu-Ray for the first time in typical Arrow Video deluxe fashion for cineastes and fans alike. Anyone that loves the “Ringu” movie series will enjoy how the series is compiled in basic chronological order rather than release date order (Oddly enough the 2002 American remake and “Sadako vs. Kayako” are not included). Despite “Ringu” being one of the most influential entry of its kind (giving way to the superior remake, which rocketed the big J-Horror boom of the aughts), the movies have never really seen a Blu-Ray release. But that’s changed as Arrow has brought fans a wonderful new set.
Auteur Luigi Cozzi’s “Alien Contamination” also known as “Toxic Spawn,” also known as “Contamination,” also known as “Aliendrome,” is one of the most incoherent horror films spawned from Italy. It’s tedious but shockingly compelling, and manages to take just about everything from various films to mix together something that’s about alien green egg pod chest bursters turning humans in to zombies that originates from Mars, as masterminded by a phallic Cyclops alien with a vaginal mouth and hypnotic eyes. All funded by the Colombian Mafia! Seriously.
Oliver Alfonso’s horror comedy is a movie that will likely be a very polarizing title down the line. For the people that actually bother to check it out on Netflix, “Girls with Balls” is a Z grade movie that walks the line between absolutely obnoxious, and admirably entertaining. I was mixed on “Girls with Balls” as it packed some great meaty horror comedy material, along with some woefully stupid moments and unlikable characters.
The independent film circuit isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire with their zombie horror fare lately. That’s a shame too considering there are so many bright voices out there that could re-invent the formula, and deliver something massive. “Survivorz” is low budget, routine, mediocre, repetitive zombie apocalypse fodder that feels like a dull video game, and never quite takes advantage of its setting. It’s set in London England but that’s really all the movie has to offer in the way of change of scenery.
Allegedly recounting the grizzly child murders that took place in the Moors of Europe, “See No Evil: The Moors Murders” is a sluggishly paced dramatic thriller that is often too centered on character to ever actually concentrate on the murders behind Myra and Ian Bradley. Apart from its tedious pacing, the constant meandering from Writer Neil McKay and Directors Christopher Menaul, and Nicola Morrow turn the mini-series “See No Evil: The Moors Murders” into a trying, often tedious experience that frankly bored me out of my skull.
So “Zombi 3” is technically “Zombi 2” while “Zombi 2” is technically “Zombi” if you cut out “Dawn of the Dead” which was renamed “Zombi.” It’s a confusing rabbit hole that goes so deep, you’ll pass out from the confusion. In either case, Bruno Mattei’s (Lucio Fulci’s? Claudio Fragrasso’s?) “Zombi 3” is one of those so bad it’s good zombie films that I didn’t hate. Maybe it’s because I didn’t have a history with it, but I kind of loved how aimless “Zombi 3” was with its zero plot, paper thin characters and the way it meanders back and forth.