DJANGO UNCHAINED

2012; written and directed by Quentin Tarantino; 165 mins

There is a moment, two thirds of the way through The Hateful Eight, when Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Major Marquis Warren, says; “Let’s slow this down. Let’s slow this waaaay down!” and in my head, I was thinking; “Please Christ – let’s not!” I’m on and off with Tarantino. When you see, read or hear any interviews with the man himself, you realise his films are him. I imagine being around him would be both great and exasperating. He seems to be a genuinely smart, giving person whose greatest love affair is with himself. Continue reading

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RIOT IN CELL BLOCK 11

1954; directed by Don Siegel; written by Richard Collins; 80 mins

Issue-tainment don’t come much pulpier than this! The passion project of producer Walter Wanger, who’d served time for armed assault and saw, first-hand, the hideous conditions that prison inmates had to endure, the film was made in a disused Folsom Prison block with real inmates and directed by industry fixture, Don Siegel. This is one of those movies, I was hooked in by the title (I think about the same time I first watched Assault on Precinct 13) and have spent the last however long trying to get my hands on a copy! Continue reading

I SURVIVED A ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST

2014; written and directed by Guy Pigden; 94 mins

An Otago zombie movie. In most NZ movies nowadays, I’ll know one or two of the crew but to actually watch a film that features people I knew from Film school, people I do stand-up with and people I know from the pub… is quite a different thing entirely. Just putting that on the table. Any review where you know the people involved is compromised but thankfully I can say that, on the whole, I liked it. Continue reading

FREAKS

1932; directed by Tod Browning; written by Willis Goldbeck and Leon Gordon; 64 mins

[SPOILERS]

“We call you: the Not-Yet-Disabled” – Anon

One of the earliest examples of a director being pilloried for his uncompromising work, only to be rehabilitated years later. Freaks is one of the all-time horror classics that I have been remiss in catching up with so time to sort that out! Continue reading

FREE FIRE

2016; directed by Ben Wheatley; written by Amy Jump and Ben Wheatley; 86 mins

So, we didn’t see this one in NZ cinemas because apparently no one would want to see a bunch of stars in a slam bang, feature-length action exploitation flick, presented by Martin Scorsese. No one. You couldn’t sell that! Much like Kiwi distributors didn’t bother selling Wheatley’s previous film, High-Rise, a big dystopian sci-fi starring Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Elisabeth Moss and Luke Evans and they didn’t so the same with Midnight Special, American Honey, Inherent Vice and countless other top-notch US and UK, director-led genre movies (to say nothing of the scores of foreign language films that don’t even get a look-in) and I am fucking sick of this! Continue reading