REVIEW: Infestation (2009)

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I’ve always said; if you want to make a low budget horror flick, you either have to do something very different or something really special. While this giant bug flick isn’t too different to, say, Eight Legged Freaks, it is certainly well put together.

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REVIEW: Ed and His Dead Mother (1993)

Steve Buscemi plays a nebbish mama’s boy who spends his inheritance having his mother brought back from the grave, only for her to turn into a flesh hungry member of the living dead.

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REVIEW: Fire and Ice (1983)

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Sublime sword and sandal epic from the director of 1978’s animated Lord of the Rings. Necron and his with mother kidnap Princess Tigra and wipe out Larn’s people, with the help of a mysterious stranger known as Darkwolf, they will get their revenge and save Firekeep.

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REVIEW: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

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Out of all the classic franchises, which would you pick to reboot? The correct answer is, of course, none of them. I didn’t care about this movie. I laughed at the CGI in the trailer. I scoffed at the scores of folk telling me that it was fucking awesome and that I should fucking get over myself and give it a shot. This evening I sat down and gave it that shot.

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REVIEW: Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (2006)

Rock novelty Tenacious D take to the big screen to tell the events leading up to their only genuine real world hit, Tribute. And it’s everything you expect it will be.

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REVIEW: Vegas Vacation (1997)

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The Griswald’s take a trip to sunny Las Vegas so Ellen and Clarke can renew their wedding vows but in true Griswald fashion, things go very wrong.

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REVIEW: Attack The Block (2011)

I’ve been a big fan of Joe Cornish ever since Channel 4’s Takeover TV featured segments of The Adam and Joe Show back in the 90s. My favourite parts were always the sections were they would recreate popular movies using stuffed animals and Star Wars figures, a bit like what Robot Chicken are doing now. The toy spoofs were always lovingly created homages to the originals complete with editing and directorial cues taken straight from the source. Except, y’know, with teddies.

It isn’t hard to believe that Joe Cornish would move onto make a pitch perfect love letter to 80’s sci-fi with his own contemporary edge. Taking inspiration from all over past cinema, the most transparent homages are to John Carpenter origins. The whole siege aspect is a clear interpretation to Assault on Precinct 13, while Mos’s fierce anti-hero contains shades of Snake Plissken.

Attack The Block is vibrant and exciting with a rich colour palette. Classically shot through a modern lense. It’s Die Hard meets Aliens meets Kidulthood meets Shaun of the Dead meets awesome. A fully realised film that combines action packed set pieces with character progressions that few will be able to dismiss. It’s a future genre classic.

7.5/10

As soon as it was over, I immediately watched the commentary track featuring Cornish and Executive Producer, Edgar Wright. Focussing on debut features, they touch on some really interesting points for fledgeling filmmakers whilst also geeking the fuck out.

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REVIEW: Chuck & Buck (2000)

erpetual manchild Buck is obsessed with his former best friend and successful record company exec, Charles (or, y’know, Chuck). Buck is pretty nuts, and Chuck is a vapid douchebag.

I was 15 when this film came out, and for some reason, rumblings about it flew about my high school. “Did you hear about Chuck & Buck?!” or “have you seen Chuck & Buck yet?”. Never any mention of what it was about or anything. I don’t know if this was a localised phenomena brought about by one of the bigger kids having seen it and spoke of it, or if the premise of this film was so fascinating to teenage boys that it swept the globe like some kind of icky virus. But I had heard it was great, and so for the last 11 years I have lived with the legend of this film burned into my brain.

I fucking hated it.

This film is populated with the most vapid charisma vacuums I have ever seen. Every ounce of my being fought tooth and nail to make sure none of it left a mark. It failed. I am still angry now. The director succeeds in making Chuck & Buck ooze creepiness, but in doing so sacrifices likable characters and pacing. It appears to be shot on consumer level camera and has a sort of super grainy low budget feel which is rare for dramatic movies and works with the tone of the film.

It feels like a first feature with some level of competency and potential, but mostly it is just fucking repugnant.

At one point Chuck claims to have signed They Might Be Giants. I love They Might Be Giants. That made me really angry.

3/10

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REVIEW: Tucker and Dale Versus Evil (2010)

Two bumbling rednecks find themselves embroiled in a slasher type plot in which theyare the killers. Except not. An original premise, and one I can’t believe hasn’t been explored before.

This film is a joy from start to finish replete with well worn horror tropes being flipped on their axis. Hilariously realised with fantastic performances from Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk as the titular duo, the rest of the characters are cut from well worn cloth. But, I guess, that’s kind of the point. While shot like a straight-to-DVD slasher, very similar in look to Crispin Glover flying pickaxe-a-thon Simon Says, Tucker and Dale manages to maintain interest through it’s clever use of skewed horror imagery. It’s a shame it blows it for the end.

A hilarious horror-comedy for the post-Scream generation, just don’t watch the trailer, if you can help it.

7.5/10

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REVIEW: Monsters (2010)


Low budget filmmaking is difficult to do right. It’s easy to make a trashy slasher or a zombo-gore bonanza on a shoe-string, but to make a special effects spectacular with pathos and scope. That’s a beast of a whole different colour.

Monsters follows two characters as they cross an area of the US “infected” with tentacled aliens and their spores. They also fall in love and run away from stuff.

It’s a sparse story with clear parallels to American immigration and it just works. It’s even better when you know that the budget is in the thousands and that the director made all the SFX in consumer level effects software. Such a massive feat.


The film is beautifully shot and carefully paced. The two leads show varying levels of chops throughout, but mostly come out looking good. An interesting collection of non-actors populate the supporting roles grounds the film in a very real world of looming aliens.

7/10

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