Saturday, 27 April 2013


Taking a refreshing break from my recent zombie fodder, I picked up a copy of Rose and eagerly sat down to see what was going on in the UK film scene at the moment. Rose follows the heartbreaking roller-coaster ride of the eponymous female character and her young daughter who are under the control of cruel gang boss Blondie. Struggling to survive in 'Hellville', a place described as "an unspoken world that exists near you", Rose struggles to protect her daughter and is subjected to horrific events that spiral out of her control, culminating in a violent showdown.

This blogger must confess that the first 10 minutes of this film were a little confusing, set in another country, where a series of characters which will we never see again are introduced - I actually came away from the film not really knowing quite what the purpose of this first section was and feeling that it could have been removed completely with little loss to the rest of the production. Anyway, once we settle back into life in Hellville, things quickly get dark and gritty, and the performances of the cast (especially Helen Clifford as Rose, who was excellent, and the ever wonderful Scream Queen Eileen Daily) go a long way to making this film the success it eventually turns out to be. I was quickly gripped by the storyline and the plight of our heroine Rose. I was also left reeling by some of the tortuous circumstances she finds herself helplessly trapped in.

Lets get things straight, Rose is not a big budget thriller, it's dark, dirty and the sound quality leaves a little to be desired at times (although that may have just been my DVD) but despite all this, it's impressive, gripping, harrowing and, ultimately, beautifully conceived and delivered. It smacks of the desperation of real life and the drudgery and degradation that many must face on a daily basis and it packs a punch as it does so.

This reviewer suggests, if you like your films with a salty realism and dank criminal underworld violence, then this may just be the film for you.

For more info on Rose, please visit:

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Trashy Trailers Part #2


Not actually seen this one yet (as not currently available with Eng Subs) but cannot wait until I get the chance. Looks the bum ... I mean bomb!

Saturday, 20 April 2013


Straight out of the so-bad-it's-good (but actually really bad) bargain bin this week is the ridiculously titled Creepozoids. Set in the long distant future of 1998 (oh boy!), a nuclear war has ravaged the Earth as we know it, leaving small pockets of human life battling for survival against mutant beings. A rag-tag group of survivors (including perennial Scream Queen Linnea Quigley) fall out of the acid rain into a long abandoned building. They very quickly realise that all is not right with their safe-house as they are picked off, one by one, by a rubber-suited mutant baddie!

The odd thing that really stuck me about this film is the contrast in it's special FX. The scenes of the team members 'melting' are actually really rather well done for a B Movie schlock-fest, but unfortunately it seems like the movie then ran out of budget and rubber-suited monsters, giant cuddly toy rats and a modificated dolls seem to have been the only choice to finish getting this film made. The acting is, putting it mildly, appalling and the script is less coherent than Lindsay Lohan on her way out of an 'All you can Drink' cocktail bar. By far my favourite moment is when the hero stops his team from firing on the mutant exclaiming 'Don't shoot, I don't think he means us any harm' and no sooner has he finished the sentence than he is blasting away with the rest of them.

Of course, people will say 'But it's a B Movie, it's meant to be bad' to which I would counter with 'Really? You know you should never start a sentence with But ...' ... But seriously, yes, it is a B Movie, and yes, it is meant to be bad, and it is, very successfully I might add. There is, however, a distinct line between bad and BAD and Creepozoids very quickly meanders into the latter. The final battle is laugh-out-loud ludicrous and if you're expecting a Sixth Sense style twist ending, you're going to be very disappointed, the makers clearly just ran out of money, ideas and enthusiasm. Having said all that of course, I'd still rather watch this car-crash than Twilight any day of the week!!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Trashy Trailers Part #1

The first in my mid-weekly trashy trailers section. This will consist of films I've seen that fall into the 'trashy' (in a good way!) category, and as such sit nicely on my blog, but I may not have got round to blogging about yet, or indeed may never bother, but still recommend to you, the loyal blog readers! Enjoy!


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

News: Wednesdays = Trashy Trailers Day!

Tomorrow sees the start of my mid-weekly 'Trashy Trailers' corner. Each Weds I'll try and get out one of the best trashy trailers (in this case 'trashy' does not necessarily mean bad!) from alternative films around the world to whet the appetite, ready for the new post coming out on the Saturday. Tomorrow's trailer comes from Hong Kong and takes trash to the nth degree! More to follow soon ...

Saturday, 13 April 2013

American Mary

Having already reviewed, and loved, the Soska Twins previous work Dead Hooker in a Trunk earlier in the blog, I excitedly anticipated watching their newest release American Mary ... and to say I was not disappointed was an understatement. This beautifully dark body modification horror delivered above and beyond the punch I expected. Medical student Mary Mason is lured by easy money into the world of underground surgery. From here things get dark, very dark, and this film moves from one bloody brilliant sinister twist to the next.

The hype surrounding this film was rightly deserved as the Soska Twins deliver many moments of uncomfortable tension to leave audiences squirming in their seats or hiding behind their hands, but this is not to say that the film is simply a gore-fest or blood bath, far from it. It's brilliantly acted by Katherine Isabelle as the eponymous Mary and it is clear that the Soska's have put as much effort into production as they have into the script and shocks.

Now I know that people will automatically try and slap the 'torture porn' label on this film, but it's so much more than that. To simply call Mary torture porn would be like calling Charles Manson 'a bit naughty'! Yes it's shocking, yes it's dark and yes it opens our eyes to a world we may not have previously been privy but it is so much more than that. It's an auteur's work and it deserves the credit and the acclaim it has received so far. I have said it before, and I'll say it again, the Soska Twins are destined for big things.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Titicut Follies

Breaking from my recent norm or chillers and zomb flicks, I venture into the murky world of documentary film to bring you a review of Frederick Wiseman's Titicut Follies (1967). Probably most famous for being the first film in American history to be banned on grounds other than immorality, obscenity or national security.

Follies is filmed at the Bridgewater State Hospital for the Criminally Insane and follows a number of inmates as they go about their daily lives within the walls of the hospital. Unfortunately for Bridgewater, the resulting film highlighted a number of harsh treatments by guards on inmates and an obvious lack of knowledge from doctors within the institution as to the best ways to manage the inmates behaviours. Eventualy this led to a court case and the eventual banning of the film from public view. As with most films that others have attempted to sweep under the carpet, it garnered a cult status, leading many people to try and track down copies for its notoriety.

Wiseman clearly, from the outset, works with what little equipment he had available to capture as much footage as he could, as quickly as he could. It is obvious that the finished film is sculpted around the footage recorded, rather than following a set plan. It is shocking and often difficult to watch and Wiseman does not pull any punches. Death, humiliation and despair are shown in equal measures and it is clear to see, back in a period of change and unrest, why officials would be keen to keep this film out of the public eye.

Follies is recommended to those who work or train in the mental health industry as an example of the 'bad old days', but also to those with a fairly strong disposition for real life mistreatment and degradation. I'm unsure, as to this point, if Titicut Follies ever obtained an official release, I'm pretty sure it never did (although Wikipedia seems to suggest otherwise), but it's not that hard to track down if you try.