second batch of films i've seen this year!

Cabin in the Woods 4/5 - probably my favourite new film of the year, because when it kicks in, by god, it kicks in. and such a clever film as well! so hard to say anything more about the film without giving away the joy of the surprise... but suffice to say at no stage did i expect it to end exactly where it did. do not spoil yourself before you watch this... enjoy the twist
Call of Cthulu 3/5
Candleshoe 2/5
Capricorn One 2.5/5
Cat Ballou 2.5/5
Cat O'Nine Tails 3/5
Changeling 3/5
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) 2.5/5
Charlie Bubbles 3.5/5 - flawed but fascinating sole directorial effort by albert finney. i wrote about it length during my MA dissertation and at the time it felt like quite a profound film - now it's more of a slightly immature attempt at profundity... but finney does get some gorgeous images and moments out of it. and the chemistry with billie whitelaw is so good, i'm glad they teamed up again in "gumshoe" below

Chopping Mall 2.5/5
Christmas Evil 4/5 - john waters favourite christmas film. and if you can imagine what kind of horror film set at christmas waters would like, then you've pretty much got the idea of this film. ludicrously fun and also pretty disturbing in places too...
Christmas in July 3/5
Christmas Under Fire 3/5
Cigarette Burns 2/5
City of the Dead 3.5/5
Close Encounters of the Third Kind 2/5 - balls? balls. spielberg has a handful of good ideas and then ruins it with the usual schlocky nonsense he can't help himself with
Colin 3/5
Colossus: The Forbin Project 3.5/5
Condemned to Live 3/5
Crimes and Misdemeanours 4/5
Croupier 3.5/5
Cutter's Way 3/5
Dark Water 4/5
Daughter of Horror 4/5 - a proper cavalcade of madness this. far from perfect, but also unlike anything else i've ever seen. you know the dream sequences in "carnival of souls"? how about one of those extending for fifty odd minutes? like that film, one of the few moments in the cinema that can be said to be properly dreamlike

Death Ship 3/5 - this film has a lousy reputation and i have no idea why. it's bad, but it's enjoyably bad and never takes itself seriously and also has a clatter of good ideas going about amongst the silliness
Dellamorte Dellamore 3/5
Demon Wind 2.5/5 - ridiculous horror film, i mean just ridiculous. one of those "we're a bunch of pals trying to solve a mystery which involves some deep, hidden, eldritch horror" which immediately makes you wonder how these people ever know each other socially let alone are friends (kung fu guy? magician? jock? sensitive glasses dude? really?). but it's so so so silly - and i mean, really silly - you end up not caring. it's just a cavalcade of chuckles...
Demons 2/5
Demons of Ludlow 0.5/5 - one of the worst films i've seen all year. shamefully, shamefully bad. first of all there's meant to be a haunted piano at the centre of the narrative. but it never ever sounds like a piano - and never do the hand movements of whoever's playing it look like anything that would make the music that comes out of it. also it looks brand new, not a three hundred year old antique piano. oh! and none of the ghosts wear clothes from the same time period and simply look like they got dressed up for the occasion. and it doesn't make sense. and it's boring. and i slept through half of it and it never affected my understanding - understanding! - of the film at all. maybe that half was the good half, but i really doubt it. TERRIBLE

Devil's Backbone 4/5
Die Screaming Marianne 2/5
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011) 2.5/5 - best thing about this film is when mike and jim from "neighbours" appear in the same scene. oh how i laughed...
Don't Look in the Basement 2.5/5
Doom Asylum 2/5
Dreams in the Witch House 3/5
Dressed to Kill 2.5/5
Eating Raoul 3.5/5
Ed Wood 4/5
Eegah (MST3K) 4/5
Electra Glide in Blue 4/5 - such a strange and powerful little film. it's hard to explain what it's about - small american motorcycle cop tries to better himself but ends up involved in tragedy - because it doesn't really give any understanding as to why the film works so well. i'm giving away the ending here, but the final few minutes (and closing credits) are possibly among the most powerful bits of cinema i've seen all year. so beautiful, so sad... AND you forget that robert blake is one creepy wife murderer for the duration of it as well, which must say something about how good the film is

Enemy of the State 2/5
Eyes of Fire 3.5/5 - such a frustrating film this. about 75% of it shows something close to a completely different and unique kind of horror film: something close to a proper lovecraftian sense of an ancient horror from the earth and the wrongness of humanity finding their way around that sentience. but something went wrong, because the ancient, eldritch evil frequently looks like the natrel woman from the nineties adverts and about ten to twenty minutes of plot development seems entirely missing when sudden, unexplained whizz bangs start happening. such a shame because moments like the other worldly girl dropped into the settlers' camp promise something extraordinary... hugely silly ending as well

Eyes of Fire (1983) from cougar on Veehd.

Fade Into Black 3/5
Family Plot 2.5/5
Famous Monster: the Forest J Ackerman Story 2.5/5
Fear is the Key 2/5
Final Destination 3 2/5
Final Terror 2/5 - nonsense, but for a brief moment this slasher film sort of promises to become something special. you know how the first "rambo" film has nothing to do with the jingoism now synonymous with the character, but is more a portrait of a severely war damaged psyche hiding in woods from his enemies? for a brief moment this film almost reaches that level of cleverness. almost. but just as it nearly gets there - it's gone again. such a shame
Fletch 3/5
For a Few Dollars More 4/5
Forbidden Zone 4/5 - bloody hell, this is a rich stew of insanity. a brilliantly mad bit of film making from oingo boingo and friends. stars herve villechaize as the king and a man with a frog's head. the songs are great too - been singing the theme tune all year
Four Flies on Grey Velvet 4/5 - giallo genius from dario argento. best beginning of a film this year as well. amazing

Frightmare 4.5/5 - unrelentingly bleak horror film from pete walker. you want camp fun from a seventies british horror film? then don't come here because thanks to sheila keith's performance this is as far from that as you're going to get. andrew sachs gets it in the first few minutes as well. brilliant. and bleak. i mean REALLY bleak. however bleak you think i mean, it's bleaker than that
Future Shock (Alvin Tofler) 2.5/5
Ganga and Hess 4/5 - pretentious? possibly. powerful? hell yes. a really different take on the vampire myth
Garden State 2/5 - silly, pseudo-indie nonsense with the archetypal manic pixie girl and no content whatsoever. zach braff is a likable star and has some strong sub-wes anderson images in his bag of ideas, but he also has nothing to say here at all. hugely disappointing
Ghost in the Shell 1.5/5 - no idea what was going on. sorry
Giant Spider Invasion (MST3K) 3/5
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (US) 3.5/5 - i liked this. not better than the original, but just as good. shame the last twenty minutes just petered out
God Bless America 3.5/5 - a not subtle, but also strangely powerful bark of horror at the modern world. you shouldn't enjoy it as much as you do - because it is strikingly immature - but goldthwait really gives it his all and you can't help but be taken along with him en route
God's Cartoonist: The Jack T Chick Story 3.5/5
Gremlins 2: The New Batch 5/5 - best sequel ever made. one of the best films ever made. the gift that keeps on giving
Gumshoe 4/5 - see "charlie bubbles"


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