söndag 18 april 2021
torsdag 15 april 2021
Spain, a wonderful country that have a lot to offer. Not only great food, fantastic beer and especially beautiful women, but i would have to say that spanish music is also something i appreciate. I have been to Spain 3 times, in different years. And one of the most special trips i did there was in summer of 2002. I was there with my sister and my mother, as me and my sister gave our mother two weeks in Spain as a birthday gift, to her 50th birthday. Several things happened on this 2 weeks vacation, so let me just tell you about some things. At our hotel, we had a musical entertainer known as Tony. He used to play his syntheziser and sing pop songs, with his sleazy looking combed hair and tried to charm the ladies with his special sexy smile. I loved this guy, because he was exactly what you would want as your hotel entertainer. And every night he played, i made a decision to have some fun. I would stand up and applaud for every song he played, and i mean appplaud like a maniac. Tony noticed this and was really happy saying:- He must be my number 1 fan, i love this guy. And every time i started applauding at his shows, people started looking at me as if they were wondering:- What´s wrong with this guy? The fact of the matter is, Tony was not as popular as i tried to make him look, but he loved seeing me applaud every night. My sister was embarrased, and my mother was probably as well, but that´s ok. Tony actually made us a cassette tape as a thank you to his biggest fan, simply capped Tonys Special Mix. Another funny thing that happened at the hotel was that there was a Danish guy ( i believe he was Danish, that´s what the hotel staff told me ), would go around the hotel and only say two words :- Beep beep, as if he was the cartoon character Road Runner. He could show up anywhere and say:- Beep beep, and he would just walk away. One of my favourite Danish people ever, a true legend. Let´s leave this subject for now and talk about Spanish films. Spain have a lot of great horror films in their catalogue with really good horror films such as The Nameless, The Devil´s Backbone, Rec, The Orphanage, Julia´s Eyes and many more. I would have to say that Spain is probably one of the most interesting horror producing countries in Europe, considering how many great titles they have. I finally got a chance to check out a horror film called Malasana 32 on DVD, a Spanish horror film i have been curious to see. Is this one of the better horror films to check out this spring, or have the Spanish horror magic faded away with Malasana 32?
Candela ( Bea Segura ), Manolo ( Iván Marcos ) and their two children Amparo ( Begona Vargas ) and her little brother Rafael ( Iván Renedo ) move into a new appartment in Madrid, that used to be owned by a very old woman, who passed away. Their new home was supposed to be the new start that this family needed, but when strange things begin to happen, no one is really sure about the past of this appartment.
One of the first things you will notice with Malasana 32, is how great the sound effects are. This is exactly what you would want, if you a are looking for a creepy horror film. Each scene where you do feel that something is not right, works so much better thanks to the powerful sound effects. This is something that quite a lot of horror releases don´t use anymore, unfortunately. So this is one detail that actually helps Malasana 32 become more interesting than the ordinary horror release. I also enjoy the time period where this film takes place, in 1976. You got the right colors, the right costume design, and this film also manage to capture the time period thanks to the beautiful city of Madrid. There is especially one scene in this film that i really appreciated. And that is when the young boy Rafael watches a children TV show with a creepy looking string puppet, a grandmother who wants to be Rafael´s new friend. At first this string puppet may not look odd, but the behavior of this grandmother and her creepy words, will definetely impact you, as her conversation becomes more disturbing. I also feel that the scene where character Pepe ( played by Sergio Castellanos ) is communicating with the dead through notes, that he sends over to the other side of the building through strings, is a nice touch to the plot. Speaking of characters, let´s talk about some of them. Actress Begona Vargas is definetely one of the highlights in this film as Amparo, who is struggling to help the family against this darkness. Actor José Luis de Madariaga as Grandfather Fermin gives a great, but sometmimes creepy performance, as he seems to be struggling with dementia. Does Malasana 32 deliver any surprises? Not really, we have seen this formula before. But i do feel that this film handle the atmosphere well. Director Albert Pintó bring back the old school horror of sound effects with Malasana 32, and still manage to out the pieces of the plot together in a positive way. Not one of the better Spanish horror films i have seen, but definetely a good film, Malasana 32 will please horror fans for sure.
måndag 12 april 2021
I do not know why, but it becomes very clear that a lot of religious films are having problems. What do i mean by that? Not many of them are very good at all, and trust me...i have seen quite a few over the years. It is like the film makers don´t want to spend the money making a good film, or great characters. Instead they just throw in a faith based story, and let the actors act, but without any passion for the story or the message of the film. This is something that have been seen in a lot of Christian films, and the pattern seems to repeat itself. I could easily mention a whole list of terrible faith based films, but there is actually one film that actually managed to do something right. This was a film that i did not expect to enjoy, but that film is called War Room, released in 2015. For being a faith based film, War Room actually managed to bring good acting, and a story that did have something to say. Directed by Alex Kendrick, this film tells the story of Elizabeth Jordan ( Priscilla C. Shirer ) and Tony Jordan ( T.C. Stallings ) who are having problems with their marriage. Nothing seems to be working as it should, and Elizabeth is worried that everything will eventually crash. But they are about to get help from an elderly woman named Clara Williams ( Karen Abercrombie ), who knows how to get this couple back on track. Even if i usually have a problem with faith based films, War Room is one of the few faith based films that i can accept, because this is not as terrible as most films are in this genre. It´s not one of the better drama films i have seen, but in the faith based section, i would say that this is one of the better ones. Even if it usually takes time for me to check out faith based films ( because i usually skip most titles ), i try to take a look at a few, just to see if i can actually be surprised. So i came across a film called Faith Under Fire that have actors Dean Cain and Kevin Sorbo in the cast. 90´s actors that everyone remembers, and i was curious to see if they actually managed to make a good drama film with Faith Under Fire. Is this a must see for the whole family, or is Faith Under Fire just as bad as The Trump Legacy turned out to be?
Fireman Tom Hatcher ( Nick Vlassopoulus ) is struggling with his personal life. He lost his wife, and his daughter Tiffany Hutcher ( Tenley Kellog ) is being treated for cancer. Tom knows that he have to go on, as good as he can. When everything seems to feel hopeless, a bit of hope suddenly strikes Tom, where he least expected it to come.
After seeing a film like Faith Under Fire, i realise that i might not have high hopes to see a film that´s actually good such as War Room. My biggest issue with Faith Under Fire is that this is supposed to be a film about cancer, that you are supposed to take serious. And if i could, i would take this film serious, considering this very sensitive subject. But this film have a very strange way to deal with the subject of cancer, by using very strange dialogue in awkward situations. Such as when lead character Tom´s family is standing in a parade and talk about funny pie situations, it is hard to laugh when the joke is horrible. I can understand that humour is needed sometimes, to make life easier. But if you can´t do comedy that actually works with the theme of the film, you might have to make some changes. If this is the best comedy ingredients they could match into this film, then they clearly missed the mark. If you think this is the only scene with problems, hold your horses, we got more problems coming your way. A perfect example of this is when we get a scene with lead character Tom is snoring, next to his cancer sick daughter. He makes the snoring so fake, that this is actually one of the funniest scenes in the film, and it was not even supposed to be funny. Now that is comedy gold for sure. There is more that i could mention, such as the ducks that seems to be everywhere. One scene Tom and his daughter are looking at the ducks in a park, and then suddenly the ducks are walking along the Cancer Center in another scene. How did the ducks know Tom is there? Or pehaps this town have unusually many ducks in this town ? In one scene a fireman is climbing a ladder, as they are doing training, trying to be funny, and i can´t laugh one single second, while the other firemen are laughing their heads off? The lead actor Nick Vlassopoulus as fireman Tom Hatcher is not a strong lead character, and that´s not a good sign for a lead actor. The actor that actually does make an attempt to do acting is Dean Cain ( mostly known from Lois & Clark TV series ) as Pastor Dan, and he is without a doubt the best character in this film. Kevin Sorbo as Doctor Robinson is at least ok, but not seen often. Fatih Under Fire is a cancer film with so many strange scenes, and so many different subjects thrown together, that it is hard to understand what the idea behind this film is. If this was supposed to lift up the serious issue of cancer, this film fails to do so. They say you can´t laugh at a film with cancer, but clearly you can with Faith Under Fire, since the cast seems to have a good time. Director Joel Paul Reisig have made one of the strangest faith based films i have ever seen, and that could be a good sign. But in the case of Faith Under Fire, it does not help the film become interesting, or good either.
lördag 10 april 2021
I am one of those who have not been afraid to experience different things in life. I have travelled quite a lot, and i have seen quite a few things, especially in Europe. Especially in the sex industry, and i have plenty of stories to tell from my strip club visits, and when i visited sex clubs as well. I will let you know about one of those experiences, and that was autumn of 1998. I was going to Germany and was just planning to drink beer, shop alcohol and check out stores. We ended up eventually in a whorehouse ( as some call it a brothel ), where the host introduced us to the girls, as we were offered different choices. I know that the extreme Swedish feminists does not like reading anything positive about the sex industry, and that´s ok. I will say from my experience, i have nothing to complain about. This was a very nice visit in Germany, and i will forever remember the good times that i experienced there. Would i recommend anyone to visit a place like that? If it is a legal business, then why not? There are serious sex workers who pay taxes and do the right thing, and they should not be ashamed of their profession. Because let´s be honest folks, the sex industry will always be around, in some shape or another. And people will always be drawn to sex, no matter what they enjoy or want to try. When it comes to film that takes on the subject of the sex industry, we have quite many different films to choose between. Since i mentioned the year of 1998 earlier, let us bring up one film that actually brought up this subject in the year of 1999. The film is called 8mm, and this is a German-American thriller from director Joel Schumacher, that tells the story private investigator Tom Welles ( played by legendary actor Nicolas Cage ), who is contacted by Daniel Longdale ( Anthony Heald ), attourney of wealthy widow Mrs. Christian ( ), whose husband died recently. While clearing out her late husband´s safe, she and Longdale find an 8mm movie wich appears to depict a real murder, that is connected to snuff films. Tom begins to investigate the truth, as he walks into a world he knows nothing about. This is acually a great thriller, that does show you a dark side of sadistic addiction. I also think that Nicolas Cage is great in the lead role, so definetely worth checking out. This film does look into the darker part of sex industry, something you don´t see very often. I recently came across a very interesting independent film that looked really fascinating called The Special. A story that is connected to a visit to a brothel, that turns out to be quite uniqe experience. Is this an independent horror film that is actually original and good, or is this a waste of your precious time?
Jerry ( Dave Raphaelly ) does not like his job, and now he suspects that his wife Lisa ( Sarah French ) have cheated on him. Jerry´s co-worker and friend Mike ( Dave Sheridan ) is also his drinking buddy. Finally one night Jerry have had enough if seeing his friend feeling miserable, so he suggest that they will visit a brothel that he knows of, where he have a surprise for Jerry. Mike suggest that Jerry should try The Special, but won´t reveal what it is. Jerry finally agrees to do it, but will he be able to handle this new experience?
When you enter a film like The Special, you might think you can figure out right away what is really happening. But this film actually dare to take some chances, and do something different than most independent horror films. The idea of a man going to a brothel to get pleasures from a box, almost like a glory hole, is actually a great idea for a horror film. This box is actually what gives the man pleasure, as the man insert his penis inside the box. Sounds weird right? It is, and that is one of the reasons why i enjoy this film. Remember the 1982 cult classic Basket Case ? Instead of a monster in a basket, imagine a combination together with influences from The Blob and you pretty much have The Special. And this is definetely something you don´t se very often, so that helps The Special stand out in the crowd for being a bit more original. I really get a feeling that this film does feel inspired by the film Basket Case, because the main character in this film called Jerry ( played well by actor Davy Raphaely ), is so obsessed with this box, just as the character Duane Bradley was with the basket he would always carry in Basket Case. I would not say that these films have a lot in common, but the influences are clearly there from the 1982 film. Speaking of the characters, lead actor Davy Raphaely may seem very shy at first, but his behavior clearly changes once he becomes addicted to the box, and Davy manage to capture that behavior with his facial expressions, and some body language as well. I do enjoy the performance of Jerry´s friend Mike ( played by actor Dave Sheridan from the cult independent film Ghost World ). He is kind of a sleazy party guy, but he care for his friend. Dave capture the character of a guy most of us would want as a friend, someone you can trust but also have fun with. When you actually see what´s inside the box, it is actually a clever idea. Finally a bit of an original independent horror film, i always appreciate the effort of a film that combines different ideas, and match them well together. The Special may not be for everyone, but i definetely enjoyed this film for trying a different path. Director B. Harrison Smith deliver a horror film that actually dare to cross different genres, and he manage to make this film work. Definetely worth picking on on DVD or Blu Ray, if you are planning a barbecue evening with some cold beers.
söndag 4 april 2021
You would think that people will learn that war does not solve all problems, but here we are in 2021 with several big wars in our catalogue, so many lives lost and it never seems to stop. I realise that wars will always be around, and there are military programs that are needed to keep certain situations more stable. Will i personally support a war? No, because i don´t believe in killing innocent people, who clearly suffer in war. Do i believe in killing war criminals? I personally feel that they should be locked up instead for life, for the crimes that they have commited. If a war criminal dies in war, i would of course not feel sorry for him at all, he will hopefully burn in hell. I am pretty sure there are people out there all over the world, who disagree with me on these subjects, and that´s ok. We all have personal opinions on many subjects, and we are allowed to express our throughts, and how we feel about this subject. War films can be found in many different categories, who tell stories from wars in different countries, and time periods in history. I have seen quite many war films over the years, and there are some good ones to choose between. One of the war films i feel we don´t hear much about anymore, is the 1988 American war film The Beast ( also known as The Beast Of War ) from director Kevin Reynolds ( director of the 90´s classic Waterworld ). This film takes place in the year of 1981 in Afghanistan, where a Sovjet T-55 tank who become lost during the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan. This is a really well made war film that especially have very powerful war scenes, and a great cast including actors such as Jason Patric, Stephen Baldwin ( one of his better acting roles ), Steven Bauer and many more. If you find this film on DVD, you should pick it up and give it a try. Netflix have produced quite many action films over the years, and they seem to find an audience who loves big guns, explosions and violence. I recently came across a film i was planning to see early this year called Outside The Wire, that seems to be a futuristic action film. Is this a great choice for action lovers worldwide, or is Outside The Wire a horrible film from start to finish?
In 2036, a civil war between pro-Russian insurgents and local resistances in Ukraine leads the US to deploy peacekeeping forces. During an operation, a team of United States Marines and "Gumps" ( robotic soldiers ) are ambushed. Drone pilot Lt. Thomas Harp ( Damson Idris ) disobey a direct order, deploys a Hellfire missile in a drone strike against a suspected enemy launcher, killing two Marines but saving 38. As punishment, Harp is sent to Camp Nathaniel, the US base of operations in Ukraine, where he is assigned to Captain Leo ( Anthony Mackie ), an android millitary officer. Harp and Leo are set out on a mission to prevent terrorist Victor Koval ( Pilou Asbaek ) from gaining control of a network of Cold War-era nuclear missile silos.
One of the first things i notice with Outside The Wire, is that this is a pretty basic military action film that we have seen several times before. I would not say that this film copy all films in this genre completely, but i guarantee that you will be reminded by other sci fi action films that takes place in the future. Does that affect the film in a negative way? Not really, since this film do have entertainment value, especially if you love sci fi action films. There is one problem though that becomes pretty clear with certain characters. And that is that some of the actors in this film, are not delivering characters that you will feel interested in. This is such a shame, because if they only would have worked more on delivering stronger characters, i think i would have enjoyed this film more. But let´s talk about something positive for a change. Actor Anthony Mackie ( who did a really powerful performance in the American war thriller The Hurt Locker, a must see ) delivers without a doubt one of the best acting performances in this film, as the character Captain Leo. I would not say this is one of the better films that he have done so far ( considering how many good films he have made in the past ), but he definetely shines out from an acting perspective in Outside The Wire. We also get a descent performance from actor Damson Idris as the character Harp, and the scenes that these two actors do together lift up the quality level of this film. So what about the action scenes, are they any good? If you don´t have too high expectations, and can accept some pretty basic ideas combined, then you will most likely have fun with the action scenes. Director Mikael Håfström ( who directed the very good horror film 1408 ) delivers a sci fi action film that may not deliver many surprises, but knows what kind of audience it was made for. If you don´t know what to watch, give this film a chance. Who knows, maybe you will feel inspired by a bright future, in the company of Outside The Wire.
I love brutal films from the 70´s. There were some wonderful releases during that time period, that still work well even today. Sure, some practical effects may look a bit cheesy at times, but there are film makers from this time period who could construct powerful films. I could easily name at least 10 films that i can watch over and over again, that were all released during the 70´s. But i thought i should bring one specific title up instead, that have been very controversial for many years, and that is the 1978 revenge horror film I Spit On Your Grave, from director Meir Zarchi. I remember the first time i saw this film on VHS, and that was in 1999. A friend of mine had been to London for a weekend trip, and found the film for sale in a store. We watched it together, and i still remember how brutal i thought the rape scene was. Let me explain the plot a little bit so you understand what it is about. This film tells the story of Jennifer Hills ( played by legendary actress Camille Keaton ), who is a fiction writer. To write her first novel, she decides to go to the countryside, where savage local men decide to attack her. I Spit On Your Grave is not a film for you who is sensitive, especially with violence towards women. This film is definetely one of the few in this genre that does not hold back on violence. One of the reasons why i enjoy this film, is because it is very effective as a revenge film. It is a very brutal film in certain moments, but there is a reason for why this woman makes sure these men pay the price for what they did to her. This is one of those 70´s films that i feel you should see, because this is a true classic from this era. Try and get the uncut version, since there are several versions released ( where some scenes are cut down ). Even if this genre still exist and do show up in a small amount of titles, we don´t get to see brutal revenge films released very often, especially not influenced by films of the 70´s. So when i noticed an independent film called Ravage on VOD, i knew this could be something in my taste. The question is, did this film turn out to be better than i expected, or is Ravage doomed to be forgotten?
Nature photographer Harper ( Annabelle Dexter-Jones ) is out on the countryside to take pictures of beautiful locations and of wild life. She starts hearing noices from one location, and notice that locals of Watchatoomy Valley are savages, and capture their brutal crimes with photograps on her camera. They notice her and the hunt is on, and Harper have no other choice, but to do everything she can to survive.
I have to admit that my expectations for Ravage was not very high, just because it sounded like a film in my taste. When you have seen a lot of films, you learn not to have too high expectations, just in case you might end up feeling disappointed. But this film is actually one of the better revenge horror films i have seen in recent years, and there are several reasons why this film works well. First of all this film looks really good, with cinematography from Christopher Walters. The bright colors and the atmosphere of the redneck countryside is captured so good, you can sense the fear in the air. Another detail that this film does great is to give a strong portrait of a very disturbed redneck family, who clearly have some really disturbing mental issues. Lead actress Anabelle Dexter-Jones gives a really solid performance as photographer Harper who is attacked by these savages. Once she start her revenge journey, this film becomes a fun ride, to see her give these pigs what they deserve. Is this film original in any way? No, but that´s ok, since i do enjoy seeing films in this genre still being made, since it does not happen very ofte, especially when they are clearly inspired by the films of the 70´s. There are some brutal scenes in this film, but i would not call them extreme in any way. There is a reason to why some scenes need to be brutal. Legendary actor Bruce Dern gives another strong performance as Mallincrkrodt ( very odd name right? ), and he have no problem giving you a creepy atmosphere. One performance i have to mention is actor Robert Longstreet ( that some of you might recognize from Netflix TV mini-series The Haunting Of Hill House ) as the savage leader Ravener. A very good performance, with a character you won´t forget. Director Teddy Grennan manage to balance all ingredients in this horror/thriller in a professional way. Ravage ( also known as Swing Low ) is definetely worth checking out if you are looking for a great film, especially if you are a fan of revenge horror films. One thing is clear though, im not going to visit any Redneck country for quite some time. If i hear any banjos start playing, don´t be suprised if you see me running ( i will most likely only show up if i hear the Hanson christmas album, only then i can feel safe ).