lördag 13 augusti 2022

Daniel´s Summer B Movie Madness: Extremity ( 2018 )

Summer, the best time of the year. You can walk naked wherever you want ( at least here in Sweden ), do some fishing, light up that barbecue, listen to all your favourite Westlife albums ( that means all albums of course, they have never made a single bad album, trust me ). Summer is that time of year when you don´t have to worry about anything, since the sun is the answer to all problems. Unfortunately, we only have 10 sunny days in Sweden, but when we do get them, we lie there for at least 7 hours. Every summer i have a tradition, and that is to check out independent horror films in many different categories. No matter if we are talking about cannibal horror, demon horror, supernatural horror, i am open for all options. Even if i enjoy most releases for different reasons, i do come across some bad ones as well. And when you go into low budget films, you can´t have too high expectations, since you know that there is always a chance that you might be disappointed. Sometimes though you come across an independent horror film, that you had no expectations at all, and is pleasantly surprised. One of the films that comes to my mind, is the 2014 found footage horror film The Houses October Built from director Bobby Roe. I remember picking this film up on Blu Ray from Germany ( where the film is called Houses Of Terror, also called The Houses Of Halloween on DVD in the UK ), as i never watched any trailer for the film. Since i did not know much at all about the plot, i wanted to give this film a chance since the DVD cover looked cool. And it turned out to be a pretty descent found footage horror film. Definetely worth picking up on DVD if you enjoy films with a Halloween theme, or enjoy found footage horror films. There is a sequel that i have not seen yet, but i will probably check it out at some point. As i were going through different independent horror films that i have not seen, i came across a title called Extremity. Not knowing much about the plot, i decided to give this film a chance. Is this a film that turned out to be better than i expected, or is this just as bad as The New Kids On The Block member Danny Wood´s solo album Second Face from 2003 ( wich proves why boy bands have a problem doing solo albums ) ?

Allison Belle ( Dana Christina ) is obsessed with horror, and decides to subject herself to hours of grueling torment inside an extreme haunt in an atempt to confront her fears. What she does not know, is that this will not be as easy as she might have expected. 

Ever since i first read about the plot about Extremeity, i did feel that this film could be interesting. Unfortunately, there are some big issues with this film that should have been fixed before the film was finished. I like the idea behind a building, where you sign a contract to allow yourself to be used, and abused, for the ultimate horror experience, no matter what this means could happen.. And here is where my biggest problem with this film becomes clear, when you don´t really feel that the experience is scary, or that the chosen people are in any danger. If they really wanted to make this the ultimate horror experience, thy should have crossed the limit, and done somethng really brutal or horrifying. There are a few scenes that are alright, where they actually find the right tone for the plot, but they never really explore ways to torture further more than just doing it very simple. I have a feeling that Extremity would have worked much more effective if they would have taken some chances, and surprised the audience instead of making too soft decisions. I wonder what the Japanase news reporter team is doing here, since they don´t really feel like they fit in with the plot. I do have a few positive things to say about Extremity though, and let us begin to talk about how good this film looks. Knowing that this film have a limited budget, i have to say that i am impressed with how professional this film looks. Especially in the most colorful scenes, and it feels like the budget is more bigger than what it actually is, and that does help the film stand out from the crowd of independent horror films. I enjoy lead actress Dana Christina as the character Allison Belle, and she actually tries to do something interesting with her character. Actor Nikki Rae Hallow´s character Erica seems to be an interesting character, i wish we knew more about. Extremity does have some good things going for it, especially when it comes to certain interesting characters. But the horror experience falls pretty flat, and i wish we would have gotten more. Director Anthony DiBlasi ( who directed the great independent horror film Last Shift from 2014 ) have some interesting ideas surrounding Extremeity, but he should have been more extreme with the horror elements. With a title such as Extremity, this film comes across as very soft. Worth checking out if you want to see something different in independent horror films, but still not a film i can highly recommend. 

Rating: DD

If you want to check out Extremity on Blu Ray, you can get it here from Epic Pictures, and you get special features as well:

https://epic-pictures.com/merchandise/extremity-blu-ray

fredag 12 augusti 2022

Daniels Summer B Movie Madness: Haunted ( Ghosts, 2013 )

Every summer i love to walk along the countryside. I pick all the beautiful flowers i can find, and i also look for old houses. If i see a really old house, and especially an older couple, i just walk inside hoping i will be invited for coffee. I found out that you can´t really walk into a house like that, so i have been thrown out quite many times. I don´t know if i said the wrong thing or if i was not dressed properly, or it could be that they have simply run out of coffee. Either way, it is still a nice walk among the trees. Old houses may have old secrets hidden within their walls, such as tragedies that no one have known about, or perhaps you accidently go through something unexpected. I have seen a lot of horror films where old houses are connected, so just a while ago i randomly picked a horror film i have not seen so far called The Intruders, released in 2015. This film is directed by Adam Massey, and tells the story of Rose Halshford ( Miranda Cosgrove ), who moves into an old house with her father Jerry Halshford ( Donald Logue ). In this old house, it seems that Rose is experiencing some strange events in this house. As she begin to investigate the past of this old house, the real truth begins to unfold. The Intruders is more of a psychological thriller than a horror film, even though the film is labeled a horror film. There are a few horror elements, but overall i felt that this film was actually alright. Lead actress Miranda Cosgrove did a good job with her character, and the psychological tension in this film worked for the most part. Director Adam Massey deliver a film that reminds me of thrillers of the 90´s that actually feel effective, wich is something you don´t see everyday in this genre. Worth picking up on DVD. I decided to look around this summer for horror films i have not seen, and decided to pick the British found footage horror film Haunted, released in 2013. Not knowing much about the plot, i did notice that this is a paranormal horror film. Is this a film that turned out to be better than i expected, or is Haunted just as bad as Antonio Sabato Jr´s recent patriotic films that no one remembers?

A TV crew of Paranormal investigators travel together to find out if there really are any ghosts out there. Almost none of the team members really believe in ghosts, but maybe they are about to change their minds?

I have seen episodes of Paranormal TV shows like Ghost Hunters ( that you can find on Amazon and Discovery + ), just to see their investigations. I will be honest and say that i don´t really believe in everything a TV show like this tries to show, so going into a found footage film that tries to capture the feelings of encountering ghosts in a paranormal TV show, is kind of similar to Ghost Hunters. In the case of the film Haunted ( known as Ghosts on DVD in the UK ), this is specifically made for fans of found footage horror films, or fans of TV series like Ghost Hunters. So how is this film if you compare it to other found footage horror films? To be honest, not that different. And i suppose if you are a big fan of this genre, you might actually enjoy this film for what it is trying to do. But i have to be honest and say, this film does not really feel like a horror film. It may try and look like a paranormal TV show investigation and the idea itself is not bad, but the final result is that this film feels too predictable and quite frankly, not much happens in this film. Considering the low budget this film has, i understand you have to work with what is available. The cast is filled with British actors i have never heard of before, and i can at least say that they are not the biggest problem of this film. The biggest problem with Haunted, is that for trying to be a paranormal TV show, this may be one of the most boring ones you might encounter. The few scenes that are supposed to be scary, i guarantee you will not feel affected by the events these investigators go through. Directors Steven M. Smith, Zane Casablanca and Svenja Quazzani have directed different segments of this film, and if they only would have worked more effective on each segment, this film might have been interesting. I like the ideas behind the story of Haunted, unfortunately it does not really do much to scare the audience that it was made for. There are four sequels to this film, and who knows, they might be more effective than this first film. Haunted is not the worst haunting movie i have ever seen, but i definetely feel that this should have been a lot better, considering that this film did have an interesting plot.

Rating: DD

If you want to check out Haunted on DVD, I suggest that you pick up the UK release called Ghosts, on the following link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghosts-DVD-Jon-Paul-Gates/dp/B01AKEGU90/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?crid=3UYY6O6DUP958&keywords=steven+m+smith+dvd&qid=1660341646&sprefix=steven+m+smith+dvd%2Caps%2C172&sr=8-3

söndag 7 augusti 2022

40 Years Anniversay Review Of First Blood

Anyone who goes through a war, will never be the same again. Once you see people getting killed, no matter if you personally had to kill or watch military friends die in the battlefield of a war, you will be scarred for life. Those memories will always be with you, no matter where you go. I have personally never been in any war, so i can not imagine how difficult it must be, coming home from a war and trying to adjust in society. When it comes to the Vietnam war specifically, i have seen several documentaries about what happened during those years. To hear the stories of some of the soldiers that survived, is very emotional. You can see in their eyes, and facial expression, that they have gone through some really horrible memories. Speaking of the Vietnam war, there is especially one war film that i really love, that i feel may give the best portrait of how it was during the Vietnam war, and that is the 1979 film Apocalypse Now. Directed by legendary director Francis Ford Coppola, this film tells the story U.S. Army Captain Benjamin Willard ( Martin Sheen ), a burn-out veteran assassin, who is ordered to travel to an outpost in Cambodia, and murder U.S. Army Special Forces Colonel Walter E. Kurtz ( Marlon Brando ). While he travels there with a crew of soldiers on the Nung River, he is forced to experience even more horror of war, while he is already struggling with his inner demons. A lot of really powerful performances from legendary actors such as Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Dennis Hopper, Robert Duvall and many more. Apocalypse Now is a very powerful war film, that really shows a lot of different perspective of how war affect us, and what war force us to do in a lot of horrible situations. One of the best films in legendary director Francis Ford Coppola´s amazing career, and i highly recommend the longer version called Apocalypse Now Redux. Speaking of the Vietnam war, in 1972 author David Morell released his novel First Blood, that tells the story of war veteran Rambo, who wanders into a town known as Madison, and get in trouble with local police chief, Wilfried Teasle. This novel became a film adaptation in 1982 from director Todd Kotcheff ( who directed the classic 70´s comedy Fun With Dick And Jane ). Legendary action actor Sylvester Stallone was chosen to be in the lead role as Vietnam war veteran John Rambo, and this film is still today considered to be one of the best action drama films of the 80´s. Since this film turns 40 years this year, i decided to revisit the film to see if my opinion have changed anything. Is the very first Rambo film just as good as i remembered, or have this film aged really bad?

John J. Rambo ( Sylvester Stallone ) is a Vietnam war veteran who is walking along the outskirts of a small town called Hope, Washington, in search of an old comrade Delmar Barry. He finds out that his friend died in cancer, that he got from the exposure of Agent Orange during the war. John continue his journey as he enters the town of Hope, he is intercepted by the local Sheriff Will Teasle ( Brian Dennehy ). Sheriff Will does not want strangers in his town, so offer Rambo a ride, to make sure that he is heading in the right direction. As soon as Rambo is dropped off, Rambo starts walking back to town. Sheriff Will arrest him for not following orders, and they have no idea that they are about to feel the rage, of a true war machine.

I know that a lot of people say that the 1976 film Rocky is one of their absolutely favourite films in Sylvester Stallone´s amazing career. But i personally feel that First Blood may be one of his best films ever, when it comes to telling a powerful story, and doing some real emotional acting as well. This film really show an honest portrait of a Vietnam war veteran trying to adjust in society, while he is still struggling with his own demons from war. To see a man being attacked just becuase he is an outsider, shows how prejudiced certain people can be. In the case of John Rambo, the last thing he needs is to be pushed away, with everything that he is struggling with emotionally from war. I do feel that First Blood manage to capture the feeling of a broken man, not knowing where he belongs, or if he ever will find a place where he feels accepted. One of the things that makes this film so good, apart of all the great action scenes and dramatic moments, are some of the characters. Sylvester Stallone manage to portait John J. Rambo in his very own unique way. You can tell that he really wanted to show the world, how war can affect your life with some really powerful acting ( especially towards the end, when he holds a very personal speech ). Legendary actor Brian Dennehy may do one of his best acting performances ever in this film, as the douchebag Sheriff William "Will" Teasle. He may come across as a family loving man at first towards the small town of Hope, but he is definetely the wrong man for his job. Brian manage to balance his performance with both strong dialogue, and very clear body language. One of the most powerful acting performances in First Blood, is definetely from legendary actor Richard Crenna as Colonel Samuel R "Sam" Trautman. You can tell that Colonel Trautman really care about John Rambo, knowing what he has gone through. And no one knows John better than Trautman either. The radio scene where Trautman talks to Rambo for the first time in many years, that´s where you see the only trust Rambo have left in this world. This film is violent in certain scenes, but for specific reasons. If you play too much with a soldier, you can hope he spares your life. First Blood is one of those films that manage to combine action and drama, and make it work so well. There is no question in my mind, the first Rambo film will always be the best in the franchise, and is one of the true classics of the 80´s that will never be forgotten, A must have on DVD or Blu Ray collection.

Rating: DDDD

torsdag 4 augusti 2022

X

I love independent horror director´s, especially the ones who really appreciate old school horror classics and use elements from different time period´s in the horror genre. One of those director´s that comes to my mind, is without a doubt director Ti West. I have seen all of his films since he started making films, and i am still really impressed over his passion of making really solid horror films. His first film The Roost ( that we don´t really hear a lot about these days ) was a great first feature full film for Ti West. It was made on a limited budget, but it is a nice throwback to low budget horror films. If you appreciate low budget horror films, you should check it out. The film also have legendary actor Tom Noonan ( Robocop 2, Last Action Hero ) as the Horror Host, introdcing the audience for the story. But it was actually in 2009 when director Ti West really proved why he is so important for the independent horror film industry, when he released his film The House of The Devil. Now, i have probably seen this film at least 10 times since i first picked it up on Blu Ray, and i will tell you why this film is so good. First of all, this film is really well made, considering the budget. You get a sense that director Ti West really wanted to capture the time period of the early 80´s, and he does in a very effective way. This film also manage to feel like a very powerful throwback to satanic films of the 70´s, that especially takes place in one house. I have to mention lead actress Jocelin Donahue ( also worth checking out in the really good independent horror film I Trapped The Devil ) as the character Samantha Hughes. She is definetely a perfect match for this character, and deliver a very solid performance. I should mention that legendary actor Tom Noonan is also in this film, delivering dialogue in his own unique way. The House Of The Devil is a must see on physical media, and i highly recommend that you listen to the commentary track. Director Ti West continued releasing solid films such as The Innkeepers and The Sacrament. And here we are with his latest film, simply known as X. Since i am a big fan of Ti West, i was really excited to see if X would be just as good as The House Of The Devil. Is this the horror film you need to see this summer, or have director Ti West lost his passion for horror with X?

It is the year of 1979, a group of adult film actors and a small film team arrive to a farmhouse occupied by an elderly couple in the desolate Texas countryside. Adult film director Wayne ( Martin Henderson ) is prepared to make his next film, and he hopes this one will be appreciated by the home video audience. But as they start working on the film, they will soon find out that this was not the perfect location they thought it would be.

There is no doubt that director Ti West feel a big passion for films of the 70´s, and this becomes very clear with X. You get the bright colors of the 70´s, and you feel the time period is captured in a very effective way. Everything from the costume design, even to the hair style´s, it definetely feels like we are back in 1979. I think it was a really good idea to tell a story about the making of an adult film, since we know that this was a big industry for home video. I still remember seeing adult films in VHS stores back in the 80´s, so for a younger generation today, this is a great way to show them how different it was back in those days. It was ok to show nudity and sex in stores, after all, people enjoyed adult films. If you wanted to see sex on film, you just picked up a couple of VHS films, no matter what you enjoyed. And the film X really manage to capture the feeling that this is supposed to be the making of a sex film, for anyone who enjoys watching porn. But this is just a piece of X, in the end this is an old school slasher film. And i have to say, this film does a really good job delivering some really brutal slasher moments. If you love lots of blood and people being killed, you are in for a treat. How about the characters? There are several characters that i enjoy in X, and especially actress Brittany Snow ( mostly known for her character Chloe in the Pitch Perfect movies ) as the porn star character Bobby-Lynne. This is honestly the best acting performance i have seen Brittany Snow do in her movie career so far, so she is perfect for this role. She finds the perfect balance to portrait this character, with a good sense of humour. Martin Henederson ( who i especialy remember from the American remake of The Ring ) is really good as the adult film director Wayne. The thing that makes Wayne such a funny character, is his charming personality, always seeing the possibilities than problems. And of course we have actress Mia Goth ( who i will always remember for her performance in A Cure For Wellness, a must see ), giving us a very strong performance as porn actress Pearl / also known as Maxine. X is a horror film that knows exactly what audience it was made for, and that is fans of old school horror with influences from the 70´s grindhouse era. There is one ridiculous sex scene between the old couple living at the farm, that didn´t really add anything to this film. But other than that i am very pleased with X for what it is trying to do, tell a story about the adult film film industry in the late 70´s, and bring back a nostalgic feeling of the good days of horror films. Director Ti West knows exactly what he is doing, and brings back practical make up effects horror, just the way we like it. Definetely worth picking up on Blu Ray this summer, and i promise you will have a really good time. 

Rating: DDDD

onsdag 3 augusti 2022

The Haunting Of The Tower Of London

Sometimes when you hear a certain name, you might remember that person for different reasons. It could be that the person have made a positive impression on you, or that you enjoy the personality. In the case of director Charlie Steeds, i can honestly say that i have become a big fan of him, for delivering so many wonderful independent horror films over the years. I am always excited to see that he is working on several films, so i am really looking forward to see what he has to offer, no matter what the genre is. I still remember the first time i saw his film Winterskin, released in 2018. Since i am no fan of snow, winter landscapes and winter movies in general, director Charlie Steeds helped me overcome my winter fear with this wonderful film. This film tells the story of Billy Cavanagh ( David Lenik ) who is shot out in the wilderness, and taken to the cabin of old lady Agnes ( Rowena Bentley ). At first you may think that this cabin is completely safe, but Billy is about to find out, Agnes is not the only one around this cabin. Winterskin reminded me a little bit of the 1990 film Misery with actors James Caan and Kathy Bates, in the sense that Billy is being taken care of Agnes, just like Annie helped novelist Paul in Misery. Of course these films are very different from each other, but i liked that director Charlie Steeds told a different kind of winter story, with horror elements that seemed inspired by similar ideas as Misery. I also enjoyed the twist in the plot towards the late part of Winterskin, that reveals what is really going on in this cabin. If you did not think there are any good winter horror films out there, i recommend that you pick up Winterskin on DVD. Director Charlie Steeds have released several other great films such as The Barge People and of course A Werewold In England ( wich i really enjoyed ), and i always try and check out every film he works on. I finally got a chance to sit down and watch a DVD copy of his latest film The Haunting Of The Tower Of London, excited to see what this film could offer. Is this one of the best films in his career so far, or is this film not as good as i was hoing it would be?

When the remains of two murdered Princes are discovered at the Tower of London, a troubled Priest named Isaac ( Reece Connolly ) must put his beliefs aside to befriend a mysterious prisoner, who have supernatural powers. Together they must solve the mystery of who murdered the Princes. 

There is no doubt that you can´t feel that this is a Charlie Steeds film. The Haunting Of The Tower Of London have all the right elements that you could wish for, when it comes to capturing the feeling of the mind set of director Charlie Steeds. He knows how to make old school independent horror films, and i have to say that this film actually manage to bring back some nostalgic feelings from Hammer Films ( the classic British film horror company ). The story of this film is pretty simple, and i actually appreciate that. You don´t need to make a haunted horror film complicated to make it work, and this is something director Charlie Steeds is aware of. One of the things that i especially appreciate with The Haunting Of The Tower Of London are some of the characters in this film, and let us begin with the most powerful one. And that is of course actor Tim Cartwright as Richard III. Tim have been in several of Charlie Steeds films, and everytime he shows up on screen you can feel his magical screen presence. And you really feel that in this film, as he is perfect as Richard III, both for his way to portrait this character, but also delivering dialogue that matches so well, I actually have a feeling that if director Charlie Steeds would ever consider making a viking film, i know that Tim Cartwright would be the perfect choice for viking king. Wonderful actress Emma Spurgin Hussey gives a solid performance as the character Mistress Blythe, a woman who is clearly not shy, and knows how to express herself. The scenes between Emma Spurgin Hussey and Tim Cartwright are especially entertaining, because you can feel that they have a great chemistry on the big screen. Reece Connoly ( who i especially enjoyed in A Werewolf In England ) as the priest Isaac, shows that Reece knows exactly how to portrait this character. I have to mention one especially funny character known as Solomon The Torturer, played by actor James Swanton ( who played The Jack, the demonic clown in The Jack In The Box: The Awakening ). The scenes where we get to see him in action, both preparing the torture chamber but also the torture scene with a prisoner, is really funny. So how does the haunting elements work in this film? Considering that this film is an independent horror film, i have to say for the most part it works well. Of course you can tell that they tried to do their best with the budget they had, and i appreciate that. The costume design is fine with the time period, and the castle gives a nice historical approach to the story. Director Charlie Steeds deliver once more another solid horror film, that will especially be appreciated by fans of his previous films. Definetely worth picking up on DVD to support both the film maker, but also his film crew, as we hope for more wonderful films in the style of The Haunting Of The Tower Of London.

Rating: DDD

tisdag 2 augusti 2022

Final Caller

Physcial media stores are the best place to be, where you can pick up movies in many different categories. There are a few physical DVD / VHS / Blu Ray stores still trying to survive across Sweden, but they are not as many as i would like them to be. Stores like this have been with me since my childhood, and i will always support these kinds of stores ( i would not be surprised if you find me dead in one of them, a perfect location to spend your last living hours ). I try to visit some different ones when it´s possible in different cities, to check out what they have on their shelves. Let´s go back for a moment to the year of 2001, when i was visiting the Swedish capital city Stockholm ( where we hope to have a statue of Dolph Lundgren, the greatest swede ever ). I was there with a friend of mine ( who also collected a lot of films ), and we both decided to check out VHS stores and DVD stores. We visited 4 of them, and for each store we spent hours in there. I remember buying at least 15 DVD´s and 7 VHS films. And my friend picked up at least 12 DVD´s, so we definetely had a good weekend there. In one of these stores i especially remember one VHS cover that looked really interesting, and that was a VHS release of a low budget film called The Shivers. This film looked like a lot of fun with bloody practical effects, and i noticed that the film was directed by Todd Sheets. This was actually my first time seeing one of his VHS releases in a physical media store. I did not pick it up unfortunately, but i do remember the movie store owner said:- This is one funny B movie, you should check it out man. I still to this day remember that VHS cover of The Shivers, and i hope that whoever owns it now, still enjoy the film. Over the years i have seen several films from director Todd Sheets, and reviewed some of them as well, such as Sleepless Nights, Hi-Death ( where he directed a segment called The Muse ) and Clownado. I think it is very clear that director Todd Sheets is a big fan of practical make up effects, and practical effects in general. Recently he released his latest film called Final Caller. When i heard that title it felt like it could be sequel we always wanted of the 2000 film Hanging Up with actors Diane Keaton, Lisa Kudrow and Meg Ryan. I decided to check out the film, to find out if there is a connection between these films. Is the latest Todd Sheets film The Caller one of his best releases so far, or does it not reach the same quality level as Clownado did?

Radio host Rolan Bennett ( Douglas Epps ), who runs the radio show On Through The Night, is taking phone calls from listeners, to discuss any subject that is on their mind. He gets a phone call from a man who calles himself The Outsider ( Jack McCord ), who seems to be torturing women and want to be respected live on radio. At first Rolan does not care about The Outsider, but as he keeps getting more victims, something needs to be done. If Rolan and his team can use their radio platform to stop him, they at least have to give it a try.

If you were hoping that this was the official sequel to Hanging Up, i can tell you that this is not a sequel in any way, or a remake of Hangin Up. However, you can feel elements of the Diane Keaton film Hanging Up in here. We do have some wonderful phone calls in Final Caller, just like they had in Hanging Up, so clearly director Todd Sheets knew that this would be appreciated. The characters may be a bit different in Final Caller as well, but the one thing where i feel the Hanging Up connection in Final Caller. And that is the scene where actors Douglas Epps and Jane Plumberg discuss a divorce live on radio, and i don´t think we could have been any closer to the 2000 film Hanging Up than that. So how is this film from previous Todd Sheets releases? This is quite a different film in many ways, because there is a bigger psychological perspective in this film, since we are dealing with a very disturbed serial killer. Speaking of the serial killer, this is one of the highlights of this film. Actor Jack Mackord ( who played Sheriff Morgan in Clownado ) plays the serial killer The Outsider. If you want to see a really crazy acting performance, i guarantee you will find it here from Jack McCord. I especially love the torture scenes, where he makes sure that each victim get their bodies ripped up. There is one scene that really works well, and that is the scene where The Outsider start taking his clothes off, dances around to opera and attack his victim Security Guard ( played by wonderful actress Dilynn Fawn Harvey ). Since i mentioned Dilynn, i have to tell you how amazing she is. In the scenes that she has, you would not find anyone doing her character as good as she does. It is like director Todd Sheets knew that she was perfect for this role. I would have liked to see more of her, since i have a feeling she would have brought something special for the plot, with her character. The funniest character is without a doubt radio host Roland Bennett, played by actor Douglas Epps ( who played the character Nic Stone in Clownado ). I have to say, he is the best radio host i have ever heard in my entire life. The way he communicate with each caller is so wonderful, and no one takes his job more seriously than he does. I especially love when he gives a lady advice, regarding a Bigfoot subject. That is when you know you have a radio host, who really care about his listeners. Final Caller is a film filled with brutal kills, funny characters, and funny dialogue as well. I have to say that they did a great job on the practical make up effects, i love to see big flesh wounds. Director Todd Sheets delivers another quality film, and clearly shows why he still knows what the audience want, a nice cozy film with classic ingredients. If you had some wonderful lovely dreams lately that Final Caller would be the worthy sequel to the Dianie Keaton film Hanging Up, you at least get some nice influences that reminds us of that film, and deliver some tasteful treats as well. Finall Caller is definetey worth checking out on VOD or DVD. Who knows, maybe one day director Todd Sheets will let me be in a cameo role in one of his future films? 

Rating: DDD


onsdag 20 juli 2022

The Northman

When i was in Spain back in 2002, i met a Scottish woman named Sharon. We just started talking at the hotel we stayed at, and we became friends so quickly. Those remaining days i had on the vacation, we would spend the time together going to a carneval, going swimming in the ocean. When our vacations ended in Spain, we stayed in touch and she wanted me to come to Scotland and celebrate New Years Eve there. So i went over to Edinburgh, to visit her and her family. It was one of the best New Years Eve party´s i have ever been to. You see, her friends have dressed up as vikings, because i was a guest from Sweden, so they thought that in Sweden we live for the honor of vikings. I tried to explain that we don´t really live the viking life, dressing up as vikings, but these Scottish friends wanted to show their respect for my visit, and dressing up as a viking was their way to welcome me. I will always remember this as one of the best weekend celebrations i have ever experienced, so New Years Eve in Edinburg, 2002, is a memory i will never forget. It ended up with John, a friend of Sharon, he undressed in underwear and jumped into the ice cold river. Why? Well he was drunk and thought it was a good idea, probably not. We both passed out drunk on a sofa that night, so everything was in perfect Scottish order. Since i am Swedish we do hear about vikings now and then, it could be from documentary TV films, or perhaps film adaptations as well from viking stories. One of the viking films i still enjoy today, is the violent viking action drama Valhalla Rising, released in 2009. This film is directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, who directed the very well made British biographical drama Bronson, where Tom Hardy gave a powerful performance as Charles Bronson ( real name is Charles Arthur Salvador ). Valhalla Rising takes place around the year of 1096 AD and follows a Norse warrior named One-Eye ( Mads Mikkelsen ) and a young boy as they travel with a band of Christian Crusaders by ship in the hopes of finding the Holy Land. Valhalla Viking is definetely a different film from the film catalogue that director Nicolas Winding Refn have delivered to us. It is a very dark story, with beautiful Scottish landscapes, and really brutal as well. Definetely worth checking out if you want to see a solid, and different film about vikings. I recommend you get the UK Blu Ray release and listen to the commentary track, and you find out some interesting details about the film. Speaking of vikings, i remember being surprised that actor Alexander Skarsgård was working on a new viking film called The Northman. We don´t see many viking films being made in Scandinavia, so of course it sounded interesting that includes a cast of Ethan Hawk, and Nicole Kidman as well. Is it possible that The Northman is the best viking film we had for many years, or should you skip this one and watch the 1958 film The Vikings instead ?

In AD 895, King Aurvandill ( Ethan Hawke ) returns to Jutland after his overseas conquests, reuniting with hiw wife, Queen Gudrún ( Nicole Kidman ), and his heir, Prince Amleth ( Oscar Novak ). To prepare Amleth for his eventual ascension, the two participate in a spiritual ceremony overseen by Aurvandill´s jester, Heimir ( Willem Dafoe ). The next morning, Aurvandill´s bastard brother Fjölnir ( Claes Bang ) murders the king, raids his hilfort and carries away Gudrún. Amleth flees by boat, swearing vengeance. As an adult, Amleth ( Alexander Skarsgård ) is determined to make sure that Fjölnir will suffer for his

Since i was excited goint into a film such as The Northman, i have to say that this film managed to deliver what i was hoping for. I wanted some really brutal viking kills, and you get that here. I also wanted the vikings to look cool, and we got that as well. I also have to say that the story ( even if it is very simple ) works for the most part, because you don´t need a complicated story in a film about vikings. The story actually reminded me a lot of the 1982 film Conan The Barbarian with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Even if these films are very different, for a number of reasons, they do have a similar revenge story. Conan´s ( Arnold Schwarzenegger ) parents are killed by Thulsa Doom ( James Earl Jones ) and his men, and in The Northman you have young boy Prince Amleth, who watches his father King Aurvandill be killed by his own brother. A revenge story in a historical film, is actually a great idea to make the plot interesting. If it would have been a story of just vikings killing people, you may have not cared about the characters either. So they made the right choice to make a viking film with a plot that matches the time period. The costume design looks good, and you can tell they tried to capture the look of how people used to dress during these times. I have to say i am impressed over the houses that were built for this film, where certain details makes you feel like you are visiting the home of a viking family. Anything negative to say? I have to be honest and say that this film is a little bit too long. It feels like certain dialogue scenes feels a bit drawn out, to try and make you engaged into the characters. And i honestly did not care at certain times, no matter if some of the characters discussed important subjects. The acting from some of the smaller characters does not leave any bigger impact and felt uninspired to deliver their dialogue, so it is basically the bigger Hollywood stars who make this film work. Alexander Skarsgård definetely went into this film with a passion for his character, so i can´t say anything negative about his performance. The Northman is basically a historical action film that is definetely made for fans of vikings, and that is something director Robert Eggers tried to focus on while making this film. He clearly felt passionate to tell a story during this time period, and he give us a film that definetely will please the audience it was made for. The Northman may not be a film for everyone, but if you enjoy historical films, i have a feeling you might appreciate what this film have to offer. The Northman is a great choice for your Blu Ray shopping mall visit this summer, especially if you dress up as a viking in the store ( we want to leave a good impact, right? )

Rating: DDD

lördag 16 juli 2022

Titanic 666

Let´s go back to the year of 1998. I especially remember that spring, because a high school friend of mine called Patrick, he was doing his military service in a Swedish city called Skövde. When he had the weekend off from the military facility, we would meet up in our hometown, at least at the weekends he was able to come home. And he would tell me stories from the military facility, and they did some crazy stuff. And there was especially one thing that was really funny, where he and his military friends have planned together, that had something to do with the film Titanic. The film have been shown in cinema for many months, and they knew that Leonardo Di Caprio would drown in the end of the film. So....here is what they did. One evening they booked the whole front row of the cinema, where most of the audience was women. And when the film was getting closer to the scene where Leonardo was about to drown, they whole guy gang prepared to surprise the audience. As Leonardo drowns, the whole male military gang stood up in the front row of the cinema, applauded very high, and all chaos started. Women across the cinema audience went nuts, throwing snacks at them, soda´s, shouting bad words, they did not like what they did. They were forced to leave the cinema, but i have to say, this is one of the best things i have heard when i think about the film Titanic. I am pretty sure you have never heard anyone else doing something like this before, so i say that this is one of the great moments of 1998. I did see Titanic in cinema, and i believe it was around February of 1998 ( since the film had it´s cinema premiere in January of 1998 in Sweden ). It´s not the worst film i have seen, but i definetely didn´t see it as a masterpiece that everyone was talking about. And i also remember that my girlfriend at that time called Marie, used to play the Titanic soundtrack on CD, and i got so tired of hearing that Celine Dion song i wanted to throw the CD off her balchony. I did see the film again a couple of years ago, and my opinion about the film have not changed. It is well made, and have a very tragic story to tell, but it is still not a masterpiece that some people still say to this day. Most of us know of the real story of what happened with the Titanic, back in the year of 1912, when the RMS tank Titanic sank in the early hours of April 15th. I do think it is a very important historical moment that should be told, because the RMS tank Titanic was very unique, being the largest ship afloat at that time. If you want to know more about the Titanic, there is actually a big exhibition here in Sweden in the city of Sundsvall, that is running until September this year. What i understand this exhibition has everything you want to know about Titanic. Speaking about Titanic, i have been looking forward to see a B horror movie called Titanic 666 since i saw the trailer of the film. The title of the film is absolutely brilliant, so i finally got a chance to check this film out. Is this the best Titanic film ever made, or is it just as bad as Sex Pistol´s singer John Lydon´s 1997 solo album Psycho´s Path, one of the worst electronic pop album´s of the 90´s ?

A new ship known as Titanic III is about to take off, travelling towards the same location where the original Titanic ship sank on April 15th, 1912. What the passangers don´t know on board Titanic III, is that one of the passengers is about to bring back some the passengers who died on the original Titanic. 

Finally!

A Titanic movie that was made in my taste ( and other´s who have good taste, just like me ). I always wanted a different kind of Titanic movie, that does not follow the same path as the previous films have ( that includes Titanic 2, the 2010 film that no one apparently remember, i wonder why? ). Titanic 666 does find a way to tell the story of Titanic in a refreshing way, by connecting the past to the original Titanic ship, that includes the dead souls of the people who drowned that night of April 15th, 1912. And it is pretty cool to see the ghosts coming back to revenge the people who are travelling on Titanic III. The CGI effects may be a bit cheesy, and you can tell this is a film made by The Asylum, but this is actually one of their better made films. They actually made an effort to try and make this film look good, and that is something you don´t see everyday from a film released by The Asylum. So what about the characters? There is a mixed bag in here, and by that i mean there are actually characters that i enjoy, and especially one i am very annoyed over ( but she does do a good job portraying her character ). The specific person i am referring to being annoying is the character known as Mia Stone, played by actress AnnaLynne McCord. This could be the most annoying character i have seen this year, but is done so well that i have to applaud actress AnnaLynne McCord for giving this performance. Not only does she give us the best annoying woman character in a long time, but she actually does it very convincing. I promise, if anyone went on a boat with Mia Stone, you would want to throw her overboard ( nothing personal AnnaLynne ). Jamie Bamber ( who i especially remember from Battlestar Gallactica ), deliver a charming performance as Professor Hal Cochran, who may see harmless at first, but i like to see his personality change. Keesha Sharp ( who i really enjoyed in the Lethal Weapon TV series, worth checking out ) as Captain Celeste Rhoades, is definetely the right choice for this character. Keesha knows how to portrait Captain Celeste that matches well with the background story of this film, as well as bring a cool atmosphere around her. Lydia Hearst ( worth checking out in the thriller Aileen Wuornos: American Boogeywoman ) as the character Idina Bess, is actually one of the most interesting characters in Titanic 666. She has a very mysterious personality over her, and become especially interesting when we find out she have family connections to one of the people who died on the original Titanic. The plot may not deliver anything unique, but i actually think it works thanks to a simple but effective story about the revenge of dead passangers from the original Titanic. I could probably complain about some of the CGI effects and other details, but since i actually enjoyed Titanic 666 i have decided to leave that part behind, and look at the positive instead. Director Nick Lyon ( who directed Rise Of The Zombies, another The Asylum film i still enjoy ) deliver one of the better The Asylum films i have seen in many years. He actually seems to have made an effort to make this film more professional than most films released by The Asylum, and i am thankful for that. Titanic 666 is definetely worth checking out on Tubi or VOD, if you want to experience a different film experience on this classic historical story. Let´s hope we get a European DVD release, and i will definetely be picking up a copy.

Rating: DDD

onsdag 13 juli 2022

The Exorcism Of God

Even though i love horror films in general, i sometimes get a feeling that the horror genre is having some problems. Usually when i look at horror films, i hope to find something different than the usual release. It is ok if the horror film have influences from classics, as long as the story and the characters are interesting. And in the case of exorcism films, this is a perfect example of a genre that have been struggling finding interesting stories. But there are exceptions, and one of the better exorcism films of the 2000´s is without a doubt the 2005 film The Exorcism Of Emily Rose from director Scott Derrickson ( who also directed one of my favourite horror films of 2014 called Deliver Us From Evil, definetely worth checking out on Netflix, Amazon Prime or HBO Max ). The Exorcism Of Emily Rose manage to do something that we don´t see very often, combine a court story with exorcism influences, and director Scott Derrickson knows exactly how to tell this story in a very creepy effective way. The film tells the story of Emily Rose ( really played well by actress Jennifer Carpenter ), a 19-year-old student, who Father Richard Moore ( Tom Wilkinson ) tried to help with exorcism, but she ended up dead. Ambitious lawyer Erin Bruner ( Laura Linney ) takes on the case of Emily Rose, and try to find out if this was homocide, or if Father Richard Moore actually tried to save Emily´s life. For a court horror drama, this film works really well with the combined exorcism scenes. You feel engaged in the court scenes and the background story of Emily Rose. This is one of those films i always recommend when it comes to exorcism films, because this is a future classic. Director Scott Derrickson may have done one of the better court horror films i have seen with The Ecorcism Of Emily Rose, and it is not easy to make a film that combines court scenes with horror and make it work. So you should definetely check this film out, no matter where you can watch it on streaming, VOD or physical media. For a couple of months, i have been really looking forward to see an exorcism film called The Exorcism Of God. I have always been a big fan of the exorcism genre, but did not know much about this film. So i finally got myself a DVD copy to give this film a chance. Is this one of the better films in this genre in recent years, or is The Exorcism Of God not as good as i was hoping it would be ?

Father Peter Williams ( Will Beinbrink ), an American exorcist, hides a shocking secret. He was possessed by a demon that he was trying to expel. To atone for this sin, Peter devotes his life to charity work in a small town in Mexico. 18 years later, his deeply buried secret comes to light when the demon of his past returns, possessing a girl and unleash a deadly disease. Peter have no choice, he will fight against this demon, even if it means his soul could be lost forever. 

I went in to The Exorcism Of God with very little hope that this film would be any good. And i have to say, i am really surprised. This is actually one of the better exorcism films i have seen in recent years, even if it does not offer anything fresh into the genre. This is a pure old school exorcism film, but it´s made with a big passion for this genre. You can tell that the people who worked on this film actually cared about the project, and really tried to make this a love letter to the fans of exorcism films. So what is it that works with The Exorcism Of God? First of all the demon possessed people look good. They have done a good job capturing the different faces of demon possessed and how they behave in different situations, showing of the true identity of the demon. There are some CGI scenes here and there, but i have no problem with that since the film actually finds a way to combine CGI effects and pracitcal make up effects. The one thing that especially makes this film work, is the chemistry between actors Will Beinbrink ( who you might recognize from It Chapter Two ) and legendary actor Joseph Marcell ( who played the classic character Geoffrey on TV comedy series The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air ). I have to say, these two actors on the big screen definetely make a great impact. The scenes where they fight against evil, works much more effective than i expected. Will Beinbrink as the lead character Father Peter Williams deliver a performance that is definetely stronger than we are used to see in independent horror films, so he clearly took his role seriously. Since this genre have suffered a lot of forgettable films over the years, The Exorcism Of God feels like a worthy return for this genre. Director Alejandro Hidalgo manage to balance different exorcism ideas without loosing the true passion for this genre, and make his film much more effective than most films in this genre, at least in the last 8 years. The Ecorcism Of God is a film you definetely should support by buying a DVD or Blu Ray and show fans of reality shows like The Kardashians, what quality really looks like. The Exorcism Of God will definetely prove that.

Rating: DDD

måndag 11 juli 2022

40 Years Anniversary Review Of Humongous

1982 was a incredible year for movies. There are so many fantastic films released this year that i could probably mention at least 20 titles easily. But let´s just mention a few, that i still enjoy to this day:

# 48 Hours

# Creepshow

# The Thing

# First Blood

# Basket Case

# The New York Ripper

# Conan The Barbarian

If you just look at this list, you realise why 1982 was such a good film year. You have everything here that you could wish for, from classic slasher horror, monster films, sword fighting, cop action and even a Vietnam war veteran showing who´s boss in a small town ( i am of course referring to First Blood ). I have to mention that i will never forget the 1982 martial arts film Five Elements Ninja, old school ninja / kung fu film produced by the famous Shaw Brothers, a must see if you can get the DVD release. My earliest memory from 1982 was seeing a VHS cover of Moonraker, the James Bond movie from 1979. I was 5 years old at that time, and the reason why i remember this is that we visited a friend of my parents for dinner, and he owned a VHS copy of Moonraker. I never watched the film at that time, i was too young. But i will always remember the VHS cover because it looked so cool. I would find out later in the 80´s, that maybe the cover was the coolest thing about Moonraker, and the film itself wasn´t that good ( i believe i saw Moonraker at the age of 10 in 1987 ). Let´s get back to 1982 again ( i will try and stay focused ), and talk about one film that i really enjoy, even today. And that is the 1982 film The King Of Comedy from legendary director Martin Scorsese. This film was actually a box office flop at that time, wich is very strange, considering what a fantastic film it is. Either way, this film tells the story of Rupert Pupkin ( brilliant played by legendary actor Robert De Niro ) is a delusional stand-up comedian who is hoping to launch a career. After meeting the famous late-night TV host Jerry Langford ( Jerry Lewis ), Rupert believe this could be his "big break". What he does not understand, is that Jerry is not interested in Rupert at all. No matter what it takes, Rupert will become famous. The King Of Comedy is a really clever satirical black comedy drama, that really show us how far some people will go to become famous. A must see if you are looking for powerful films. Speaking of the year of 1982, this year all of these films i mentioned turns 40 years old. So i thought this would be a good time to celebrate 40 years with a B horror movie released that year called Humongous. Is this film a classic after so many years, or is this film even worse than i remembered?

Eric ( David Wallace ) and Nick ( John Wilderman ) have borrowed a yacht, with plans to take girlfriends Sandy Ralston ( Janet Julian ) and Donna Blake ( Joy Boushel ) on a boat trip, hoping to have some fun. At night time they come across another boat, where shipwrecked fisherman Bert Defroe ( Layne Coleman ) is stuck. They take him on board, where he tells them that not far for here is an island known as Dog Island, where baroness Ida Parson ( Shay Garner ) lives. After a big argument between Eric and Nick, the boat ends up being damaged and they are all forced to swim to Dog Island. What they don´t know, is that something else lives on this island.

I had a discussion online with some Swedish horror fans about 80´s horror, and none of them had actually heard about Humongous when i mentioned i was doing a review. It may not be one of the biggest classics of 1982, but i do know that there are B movie horror fans who appreciate this film ( especially big fans of B horror movies ). I am one of those who have found myself enjoying this film, and i had to rewatch the film for this review, since it has been a while since i watched it on DVD. Humongous have a little bit of everything to offer to slasher fans of B movies. The film starts with a rape scene, and then we move on 36 years later where we see teenagers topless or in a bikini, who are on a summer holiday. So you really find the 80´s tone from an early start, after all, who does not want to see beautiful girls topless? One of the things i especially enjoy about Humongous, is a secret island where the whole island is filled with dogs. We find out that this island used to be filled with dogs, but someone actually ate all of them ( wonderful isn´t it ? ) So now we have a ( monster? ) or a deformed human being living on this island. If you remember the cannibal rednecks from the Wrong Turn film, released in 2003, let´s just say this creature looks like a low budget version of them, wich makes this film fun. How is the acting? Just about as bad as you might expect, but i can accept that since you can´t really look for good acting in a film like this. It is really nice to see actress Janet Julian ( who some of you might recognize from the classic 70´s TV series Battlestar Galactica ) as the character Sandy, and she´s actually one of the most interesting characters in Humongous. If you love practical effects, you do get some of that here. There are a few killing scenes that might look cheesy today, but they are still fun to watch if you enjoy B horror movies. I love some of the cheesy sound effects, as if everything makes an echo sound on this island. Director Paul Lynch ( who directed the classic slasher film Prom Night with Jamie Lee Curtis ) have made a fun slasher B horror movie with Humongous, that is typical for this time period, but still manage to work thanks to this mysterious island and the brutal deformed killer. If you are planning to watch an 80´s slasher film this summer, Humongous is definetely worth checking out. 

Rating: DDD

If you don´t want to buy the DVD or Blu Ray ( the Humongous release from the distribution company Ronin Flix, there are some nice special features included ) of Humongous, you can watch the film on YouTube on the following link:

https://youtu.be/bQ8k6EtdWc8


fredag 8 juli 2022

Nitram

I have always been a fan of powerful independent films, that the big Hollywood studios don´t really care about. Films that will touch your soul, and heart, for a number of different reasons. I especially love independent films that not only offer amazing acting, but also deliver incredible characters. One of my absolute favourite independent films of all time, is the 1998 masterpiece known as Buffalo ´66 from director Vincent Gallo. This is one of those films i can watch over and over again, and never ger tired of. Buffalo ´66 have everything you could wish for, you have brilliant acting, amazing characters, really beautiful cinematography from Lance Acord ( who also did cinematography on the cult classic Lost In Translation, the best Bill Murray film ever ). The story of Buffalo ´66 is simple but very effective, where we meet Billy Brown ( Vincent Gallo ), who have just served 5 years in prison. He is planning to go home to his parents in Buffalo, New York. To impress them, he decides to kidnap a tap dancer named Layla ( Christina Ricci ), to show them his wife. He changes her name to Wendy Balsam, to make sure that everything sounds good. As they arrive to Billy´s parents Jan Brown ( Anjelica Huston ) and Jimmy Brown ( Ben Gazzara ), Billy try his best to impress his parents, but they care more about Wendy instead. In fact, Billy´s mother Jan is still upset that she missed one match with Buffalo Bill in 1966, because Billy was born, and if he never was born, she would have seen that match as well. The tension grows in this family, as Billy tries to handle the situation, but inside he is a ticking bomb. Buffalo ´66 is one of those films you don´t see very often, who knows exactly how to show a realistic portrait of a very destructive family, but also give a portrait of someone who feels lost, and really have no friends or family at all, just trying to exist. Vincent Gallo is not only brilliant as Billy Brown, but he also directed this film in such a powerful way, that i guarantee you will never forget this film once you have seen it. If you have not seen Buffalo ´66 for any reason, go get the film on DVD today. It is a masterpiece that you need to experience, and the best film Vincent Gallo have ever made so far. Since i love watching independent films, i try to check out films that are released all over the world. There are so many wonderful independent films coming out each year, and i wish i could see as many as possible. One of the films that i got really excited about to see, is a film called Nitram. I started hearing about the film a lot, especially after December 2021 at the 11th AACTA Awards ( 11th Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards ), when the film won 8 awards, especially for Best Film. A film based on the horrible story surrounding the 1996 Port Arthur Massacre in Tasmania, Australia, where 35 people were killed and 23 others were wounded, by the gunman Martin Bryant. I remember the story from 1996, since it was on headlines all across Swedish newspapers, and i remember some of the horrible pictures that was shown in newspapers. Since this film is based on the tragic story of Martin Bryant and what would happen in Tasmania in the spring of 1996, is this one of the most interesting films of the year, or is it not as good as i was hoping it would be?

Nitram ( Caleb Landry Jones ) is an intellectually disabled young adult who lives with his parents in Port Arthur, Australia. He loves fireworks and constantly use them, as he upsets his neigbors. He begs his mother ( Judy Davis ) to buy him a surfboard, after he sees an attractive girl with a surfer, but she refuses to buy him one. To make some money, Nitram decides to mowning local lawns, and this is where he meets a neighbor named Helen ( Essie Davis ), a retired actress and wealthy heiress. Nitram feels that he finally feels accepted with Helen, and decides to live with her. No matter what Helen can buy Nitram, and try to make him happy, he is still struggling with his inner demons. And when a car accident kills Helen, the whole world falls apart for Nitram. He can no longer control himself.

If you have been waiting for a film that have some really powerful acting, i can honestly say that Nitram have some of the best acting performances i have seen this year so far. Knowing the background story of this film, and that this film is based on the life of Martin Bryant, gives this story a completely different depth. You don´t really understand all the struggles that Martin lived with, not being able to handle himself or anyone around him. Not until you begin to learn what diagnoses he possibly have, the pieces of the puzzle becomes much clearer. Since i mentioned how brilliant the acting in this film really is, we have to talk about the actors. Lead actor Caleb Landry Jones ( who delivered a powerful performance in the 2017 film Get Out ) as Nitram, is definetely the strongest acting performance you will see this year. I have never seen Caleb this good in any film before, and if he keeps this level of acting going in the future, we might have one of the best actors of his generation. Caleb manage to capture everything you want to see in a character like this. All the anger, sadness, emotions, and also manage to capture the facial expressions where he have no remorse for what he is doing. To be able to do this as an actor, is very difficult to achieve. Legendary actress Judy Davis ( who i especially adore in classics such as Barton Fink and Naked Lunch ) deliver her strongest acting performance in many year´s as Nitram´s mother. The scenes where you see her filled with emotions, not knowing what to do with her son´s violent temper, you can actually feel her feelings as you watch her. How often do you see acting like this in these days? Actress Essie Davies ( who was brilliant in the Australian horror film The Babadook ) proves once more why she is so good at delivering strong characters, here as Helen. You get a sense that Helen is definetely an outsider, who lives in her own world. I have to mention legendary actor Anthony LaPaglia, who i always enjoy as an actor, but this may be one of his best acting performances in many years as Nitram´s father. Not only does Nitram have top quality acting, but the film looks really good with the gorgeous cinematography from cinematographer Germain McMicking ( who did cinematography on the really good TV series True Detective ). Director Justin Kurzel ( who directed the powerful Australian drama film Snowtown, a must see ) have definetely made the best film so far in his career with Nitram. He really worked hard to make this film hit all the right notes, and he knows exactly how to capture the audience with the incredible strong story that this film offer. Not only is this a very rough movie to watch for psychological reasons, but i guarantee you will be affected by the honest portrait of man who loose all control, and see no way out.  We may have many months left until 2022 ends, but i have no problem saying that Nitram could be the best film of this year, unless any other title surprise me. If the film is still runnning in cinema where you live, go and see this film now. You won´t find a more powerful film experience than Nitram this year.

Rating: DDDD

onsdag 6 juli 2022

The Deep House

New Years Eve 1997, i remember that party for a couple of reasons. It was the first New Years Eve party i have been to with several relatives of mine. We stayed at a Herrgård ( in translation that would be something similar to a big mansion ), that you could rent all rooms from. At this New Years Eve party, my uncle decided that it was time to try and contact the spirits. He picked out a glass that he placed on the table, as he and some of the family members wanted to see if we could make a spirit move the glass. So we sat down at the table, holding hands, as one of my relatives tried to make contact to a spirit. I remember that i tried to play along ( even though i did not really see the glass move ). The party itself was nice, and we shot a lot of fireworks that night, so i can´t complain about the party. But did we talk to any spirit? I never saw anything, of felt anything. I do know that several of my relatives believe in the supernatural, and they still do today. And that´s completely fine with me, as long as they don´t dance to Arvingarna På Lassemans Altan, then i would really know that they are demon possessed. Since i grew up hearing family members talk about supernatural events, i have heard a lot of different experiences. When it comes to supernatural horror films, there are a lot of films to choose between. Every year, we se at least 40 films or more in this category, with similar stories or horror ideas from haunted locations. The ones that i am interested in is usually found footage horror films, if they are made effective. One of the films that comes to my mind, is the 2011 found footage horror film Grave Encounters from directors The Vicious Brothers. The film takes place in a supposedly haunted psychiatric hospital, where a crew of paranormal investigators are making a paranormal television program. Grave Encounters turned out to be better than i expected, since i had no high expectations at all, and is actually well made considering the budget. I do not watch a lot of found foootage horror films these days, as much as i used to around the early 2010´s. But i try to check some titles, if something looks interesting. One of the films i have been hearing a lot of since last year is the film The Deep House. A haunted house underneath a lake? Definetely sounds different, so i finally checked the film out. Is this a must watch for fans of this genre, or is The Deep House more boring than i expected ?

Ben ( James Jagger ) and his girlfriend Tina ( Camille Rowe ) are Youtube vloggers, especially focusing on making haunted houses videos across Europe, trying to find the most haunted locations and make reaction videos on how they experience their visits to these locations. Ben is not happy with the views number, and he wants bigger numbers. As they go to investigate a sanatorium submerged in an artificial lake in south-west France, they find out it is just a crowded vacation spot. At this lake, Ben accidently meet a local man named Pierre ( Éric Savin ), who happens to know about an isolated branch of the lake of Chanteloup, an area that was artificially submerged in 1984, to prevent frequently reccuring, devastating floods. It is in this area of the lake, where Piere tells the couple about a perfect preserved house in the lake. They decide to investigate the location, hoping it will help them get success on social media.

It is possible that i might be one of the few that have reviewed this film so late, considering that this film was actally released in 2021. One of the reasons is that i have planned to watch this film a long time, but it just did not happen until now. Either way, i am still glad that i waited. The Deep House is definetely a different found footage horror film than most releases in this genre, and i think the idea of a house inside a lake is actually a clever idea for a horror film. We see so many horror films that takes place in a house or a cabin, so why not try and do something different? Let´s begin with what i enjoyed mostly about The Deep House. First of all the house itself in the lake do give you a creepy feeling. Especially when you see that this old house is not completely alone, as you begin to understand what really happened here, a long time ago. I especially enjoy the mystery surrounding the family that lived here, and as you see that they are not actually dead yet, still living underneath the water. I think this is where this film manage to make you more interested in the plot, especially when the two main characters are actually struggling to find a way out, running out of oxygen. So here we come to my main problem with the film. The story behind the Youtube couple Ben and Tina, making videos on haunted houses is not really that interesting. The actors do a good job on their characters, especially down in the lake at the house. But their passion to make videos for their viewers are not really that interesting. I will say though that actor James Jagger and actress Camille Row, manage to make the film more interesting as the film goes along, and we leave the vlogging scenes. Directors Alexandre Bustille and Julien Maury ( who directed one of my favourite French horror films known as Inside, a must see ) have definetely brought in some fresh air into the found footage horror genre with The Deep House, and i am thankful for that. This genre needed something different, and i have to say that this film do manage to pull it off in a surprising effective way. If you are not a fan of the found footage horror genre, you might as well skip this one. However, if you do enjoy films in this genre, i definetely think you should give this film a chance. After all, who does not want to visit a haunted house down in a lake? I know that i do ( what can i say, i love new experiences ).

Rating: DDD

måndag 4 juli 2022

Ambulance

In the movie industry, there are certain names that will always be known for making a big impression. It could be a director, or producer, who is well known for spending a lot of money to make sure the films looks great, feels majestic, and is made for people worldwide who loves powerful film making. One of those names is without a doubt Michael Bay, who have given us so many action films over the years. When you walk into a Michael Bay film, you know he will give 200% of everything. With films such as Bad Boys, The Rock, Armageddon, The Island, Transformers and many more, he have made sure that movie tickets have been sold in big numbers. I do enjoy some of his films, and then there are films i may not enjoy for different reasons, where he is the producer ( i am especially thinking about the 2014 film version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, since i prefer the 1990 film ). But in 2016 he actually released a film that i did enjoy, that did not get a lot of attention. And that is the film known as 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi. This is a film based on the book by the same name, of author Mitchell Zuckoff, that tells the story the terrorist attack by Islamist militants at the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya on September 12, 2012. Since this is a Michael Bay film, there are some really big action scenes in 13 Hours. But the biggest reason why i enjoy this particular film, is that he actually tried a different kind of action film, that does not include a lot of CGI effects. To be honest, i did not know much at all about this tragedy in Libya, so i do think this film manage to tell the story in a effective way. The acting may not be great from the whole cast, but overall i would recommend you to check this film out. During the pandemic director Michael Bay decided to work on a film called Ambulance, that may be the lowest budget he have ever made on a big studio film ( only 40 million dollars ). This is something you don´t see everyday, since Michael Bay is known for spending lots of money on his films. I did not see this film in cinema, but decided to pick up a Blu Ray copy to give this film a chance. Is this one of the better Michael Bay films in recent years, or should he have left this project to another director?

War veteran Will Sharp ( Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, desperately need 231.000 U.S. dollars for his wife Amy Sharp´s ( Moses Ingram ) surgery. Since he have no other way out, he asks his adoptive brother Danny Sharp ( Jake Gyllenhaal ) for the money. The only way Danny can help Will out, is if Will agree to do a bank robbery, wich will guarantee a lot more mony than he asked for. Will see no other option but to accept the offer, even though he knows this could destroy his future with his wife and child, if anything goes wrong.

I will be honest and say that i had no idea that this film is sort of a remake of the 2005 Danish film by the same name. I never saw the 2005 Danish film Ambulance, so i have no idea if that film is good. So i am just going to give my opinion about this American version instead, so you know i won´t compare these films. If you grew up watching a lot of Michael Bay films, you know he is really good at making American patriotic films. And this goes for Ambulance as well, but i will say this, at least this film is not as patriotic as Transformers, and feels more realistic instead. Since he easily can spend around 200 million dollars on one film, it is nice to see him do something smaller, that actually have a plot. Ambulance may not bring anything new to the table, but since this is a Michael Bay film you know what you are getting. Bright colors, a lot of speed, wide shots over L.A. and of course good looking people. The best part of Ambulance is actually when we are inside the ambulance, after the robbers take over the vehicle and we follow their journey across the city. I can´t remember that i have seen a heist action film that includes an ambulance, so this is actually a positive detail, that they tried a different approach in this genre. I especially think it is interesting to think about, how do you handle a patient in an ambulance, knowing that you could possibly be killed by bank robbers? Do you sacrifice your own life for the patient, or do you just try to get out, no matter what it takes to save yourself? The characters in this film helps the plot become interesting, and especially actress Eliza Gonzaléz ( who i really enjoyed in the TV series From Dusk Till Dawn ) as the character Cam Thompson. She is tough, is really good at her job, and she knows how to handle everything professionally. You can feel that Eliza took this role seriously, and she does a great job with her portrait of Cam. Actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II ( who i actually enjoyed in the 2021 horror remake Candyman, worth checking out ) gives us a realistc portrait, and a solid performance as the struggling family father Will Sharp. Jake Gyllenhaal deliver the best acting performance in this film is hijacker Danny. He is so good at getting into a character, no matter what the genre is. So anything bad about Ambulance? Since this film have nothing original to offer, you might feel that you have seen similar films like this one before and loose interest. And i can understand if you feel this way, because this genre really need a face lift, where they try something different in a heist story. Overall, if you just want an heist action film that is well made, Ambulance do work for the most part. Michael Bay may never win any Oscars in the future, but he does know how to make action films. And for that i am thankful, as long as he make them good. Ambulance is actually one of his better releases i have seen since 13 Soldiers in 2016, so if you are just looking for a descent action film, this one should do the trick.

Rating: DDD

onsdag 29 juni 2022

30 Years Anniversary Review Of Universal Soldier

The year 1992, what a magical year it was. This was the year when Rage Against The Machine released their fantastic debut album, simply called Rage Against The Machine. This is one of those classic rap metal albums that sounds just as good today, as it did when the album was released 30 years ago. I have to mention Faith No More´s album Angel Dust as well, perhaps their best studio album ever that was also released the same year. 1992 was also the year when especially action movies would deliver a lot of goodies in VHS stores. The video store owner Micke at Videomix, who i visited a lot at this time, he knew how much i loved violent action films. So he would tell me what releases are on the way, and there were plenty of titles that seemed really cool. But the real place to experience action movies was of course at our local cinema, and i still remember the first time i watched The Last Boy Scout with Bruce Willis in cinema ( technically a 1991 film, but was not released in cinema until January of 1992 in Sweden ). The Last Boy Scout turned out to be a really fun, and well made action film from legendary director Tony Scott ( director of so many classics such as True Romance, Crimson Tide, and of course the 1986 film Top Gun ( a film i can watch, but i am not a big fan of ). The Last Boy Scout starts of with a televised football game L.A. Stallions running back Billy Cole ( Billy Blanks ) receives a phone call from a mysterious man named Milo ( Taylor Negron ), who warns him to win the game. Cole ingests PCP and, in a drug-induced rage, brings a gun onto the field, shooting three opposing players to reach the end zone. Cole ends up shooting himself in the head. Meanwhile, private investigator Joe Hallenbeck ( Bruce Willis ), a disgraced former Secret Service Agent, beat up his business partner and best friend Mike Matthews ( Bruce McGill ), for sleeping with his wife Sarah Hallenbeck ( Chelsea Field ).  After this is done, Joe agree on taking a well-payed assignment, to act as a bodyguard for a stripper named Cory ( Halle Berry ). It turns out, there is much more behind the story than Joe expected. The Last Boy Scout is easily one of the best action movies in Bruce Willis career, and he have such a great chemistry in this film with actor Damon Wayans. This might actually be one of my favourite films from director Tony Scott. Definetely worth checking out on streaming sites. I recently went through a list of action films of 1992 and i noticed that Universal Soldier with Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren turns 30 years this year. Of course we have to celebrate that, so i decided to make a 30 years anniversary review of this film. Is it just as good today as it was back in 1992, or have Universal Soldier aged a lot over these years, and lost some of the magic?

In 1969, a U.S. Army team is ordered to secure a village against North Vietnamese forces. Soldier Luc Deveraux ( Jean-Claude Van Damme ) discovers members of his squad and villagers murdered, all with their ears removed. Deveraux finds his sergeant, Andrew Scott ( Dolph Lundgren ), who have gone insane and made a necklace of severed ears, and holding a young couple hostage. Scott execute the man, and orders Luc to execute the girl. He refuses and tries to stop him. They both end up dying in a gun battle. Their bodies are taken care of the American army and cryogenically frozen down, to be used in a new military program called Universal Soldier. The idea with this program is to bring back dead soldier´s back to life, and make them super soldier´s, who will only follow orders and finish each job, no matter what they are told to do. But when Luc Deveraux suddenly have memory flashback´s, where he remember what former sergeant Andrew did in Vietnam, he have problems following orders. Suddenly, the Universal Soldier program is not working as it should, and Andrew is also getting his memory back.

Even if 30 years have passed, Universal Soldier still manage to entertain the audiences worldwide for a number of reasons. First of all the combination of having both Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren fighting against each other, makes this film especially entertaining. They both have a really good screen presence, and it is their action scenes together where this film works best. Even if this film does not have much martial art scenes that we are used to see Van Damme do, we still have plenty of guns, explosions and violence. But the final fight is where we really get to see these action icons really hit the right spot. I also enjoy the comedy influences thrown in here in certain scenes, where this film does not take itself too seriously. This was actually a good thing, because if you are going to make a film about dead soldiers coming back to life, you have to be able to joke about certain details, without harming the plot itself. If you are looking for great acting, this may not be the film you are looking for, but that is not what is important in a film such as this. I still feel that Jean-Claude Van Damme as his character Luc Deveraux and Dolph Lundgren as Andrew Scott, both manage to make their characters fun and doesn´t take themselves too seriously. Actress Ally Walker ( who i used to love watching in the 90´s TV crime series Profiler as the character Dr. Samantha "Sam" Waters, who can also be seen in TV series Sons Of Anarchy ) deliver a fun acting performance as reporter Veronica Roberts. Director Roland Emmerich manage to combine some really fun ideas with Universal Soldier, and he proved that it is possible to make an action film entertaining, even if the Vietnam war influences are usually taken very seriously. He also manage to combine the right action ingredients to make the film work, without feeling too cheesy. Universal Soldier has a little bit of everything if you just want to have a good time, and watch a movie that is purely made for action fans. I would definetely say that Universal Soldier will be seen as one of the 90´s action classics, because even 30 years later, this film still manage to entertain me, just as much as it did on the big screen. Definetely worth checking out this summer and celebrate 30 years of a classic, no matter if you watch it on streaming services, DVD or Blu ray. There is not doubt, Universal Soldier still have a lot to offer, no matter what genre you usually prefer. I guarantee, once you have experienced this film, you will definetely fall in love all over again.

Rating: DDDD

måndag 27 juni 2022

Death Count

When we think about Hollywood, we usually think about directors. But let´s be honest here and speak about the importance of film producers as well. Without their hard work, we would not be able to see all new films, since they are a big part of the making of films.  There are some really well known film producers across America, who have delivered so many classics. Two of my personal favourite film producers of the past, is without a doubt the Cannon Film duo The Go-Go Boys, known as Menahem Golan and Yoran Globus. This duo managed to produce a lot of real classic 80´s films, that will be loved by many generations ahead. Just to mention some of the films, i decided to make a small wonderful list:

Missing In Action ( 1984 )

Death Wish 3 ( 1985

Cobra ( 1986 )

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 ( 1986 )

Over The Top ( 1987 )

There are so many films i could discuss here, but it would take a very long time. Menahem Golam and Yoran Globus were incredible in their own unique way. They always worked on new films, and they never stopped. Making films was their big passion, and they always cared about the audience. No matter how difficult it was sometimes, since they worked with limited budgets, they did everything they could to make their projects come to life on the big screen. Unfortunately, Cannon Films could not survive into the 90´s because of the economy, but the legacy of Menahem Golan and Yoran Globus lives on for many generations to come. In present day we do have a lot of well known film producers, but i feel that there are two brothers who are really making an impact worldwide. And these film producers are known as Sonny Mahal and Michael Mahal. You might recognize their names, and that is because they are just as hard working in the industry as Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus were. Sonny and Michael Mahal have produced several films so far, such as Party Bus To Hell, Art Of The Dead and Attack Of The Unknown. They have a lot of upcoming films coming up for a release, and i am really looking forward to see them all, especially Bridge Of The Doomed ( i am a big fan of zombie films ). I did review Attack Of The Unknown and gave it a positive review, and now i was given a chance to see Death Count, one of the films who is produced by Sonny Mahal and Michael Mahal. Is it possible that Death Count is one of the films you need to see this summer, or was it not as good as i was hoping it would be?

A group of strangers wakes up individual holding cells, where no one remember how they got here. A man known as Warden ( Costas Mandylor ) inform everyone that this is a competition, and if they want to survive, they must follow his rules. As long as they follow the rules, their chances of surviving is quite bigger. How far do they have to go, to finish this game?

It is quite nice to step into something different than Attack Of The Unknown, and to experience a horror film instead. As i was watching Death Count, i was reminded of the 2008 thriller film Untraceable. Both films are quite different, but they do have one thing in common. In both of these films you get to see chosen people suffer to death, while being watched online on a particular website. In the case of Death Count, the plot is nicely built around the mystery of the mysterious man known as Warden. He is actually one of the most interesting characters in Death Count, played by actor Costas Mandylor ( who you probably remember from Saw 4 - Saw 7 ). Wearing a half mask and giving the prisoners instructions, Warden is a character who is clearly feeding on the fear of the prisoners. Even if you can´t see his eyes, you can tell by his voice that he is determined to finish what he started. Actor Costas Mandylor manage to balance this evil character, without feeling like a copycat to Jigsaw. Is there anything specific that caught my attention with Death Count? Yes, the practical make up effects. I love to see the brutal kills in Death Count, and in this film we do have some tasteful treats that are quite nasty. They really wanted to capture the feeling of old school gory horror with this film, and there are certain scenes where they pull this off in a surprising effective way. I also enjoy the approach of the game, where it is up to each person to hurt themselves as much as possible, to get as many likes as possible from the internet watchers. It really tells you that there are some messed up people out there, who actually enjoy watching people suffering. We also get a interesting twist into the story later on that surprised me, where we find out why these people were chosen. The actors in general deliver acting performances that are alright, and i especially enjoy actress Sarah French as Rachel. The scenes where she expresses fear, of not knowing how to get out or what to do in this situation, capture the right atmosphere of how someone might feel being trapped. Even if you can tell that Death Count have been inspired by both Saw and Hostel, the film manage to go in a different direction, and proves that there is much more to appreciate about this film, than just being a rip off to Saw. The police scenes may not be as effective as i was hoping they would be, but it is always lovely to see legendary actor Michael Madsen delivering dialogue in his own unique way. Death Count is a film that gives hope for gory independent horror fans, and why we appreciate practical make up effects so much. Director Michael Su finds all the strings that he needs to make this film a fun, and quite violent horror film. If you are a fan of the gory horror genre, Death Count is definetely what you are looking for. Now excuse me, i am off to sign myself up to this game. Who does not want to be tortured online to get the most likes? Sounds like the perfect Swedish weekend for me.

Rating: DDD

söndag 26 juni 2022

Furioza

Gang violence is a worldwide problem that will never be solved. No matter how much we would want the murders of innocent people to stop, there is no way to make sure everyone is safe. There will always be victims, no matter how effective some nations are in their police work. So should we loose all hope? No, if we do that then there is no reason to fight against gang violence. So the fight goes on, and if we do it correctly, we might save some people who wants to leave their criminal life behind. I remember back in 1992 when i met a guy at my school, who was a member of a criminal gang. He told me openly about the drugs he have tried, the money he was making, while he was wearing Dr. Martens boots. Unfortunately, he did not take his life too seriously and was injured really bad in a knife fight. He survived, but it damaged him really big, especially his mind. He changed completely when he came back from the hospital, barely talked to anyone, it was just like he was no longer the tough guy anymore, as if this knife fight affected him mentally. The last time i saw him was in a park around 1995, where he was sitting alone looking at the trees. I still remember his eyes, it was like he had no soul anymore. When it comes to gang violence portrayed in movies, there is especially one film that i really love. And that is the 1993 criminal drama Blood In Blood Out from director Taylor Hackford ( director of the 90´s classics Dolores Clairborne and The Devil´s Advocate ). Blood In Blood Out is a very powerful story of Miklo Velka ( Damian Chapa ), a 17-year-old son of a Mexican mother and a white father. After a violent confrontation with his racist father, Miklo leaves Las Vegas for East Los Angeles. where he stays with his cousins, Paco ( Benjamin Bratt ) and Cruz ( Jesse Borrego ). His cousins are in the local Vatos Locos gang, and Miklo earns his membership during an attack on their rivals, the Tres Puntos. Blood In Blood Out deliver a very powerful message on how damaged human souls can become after joining gangs, but also show that people who don´t feel welcome anywhere, finds a new home where they are accepted. The acting in this film is one of the reasons why this film is so powerful, and actor Damian Chapa have never been better, i would easily say this is his best acting performance. Director Taylor Hackford does a brilliant job capturing the thug life, with his camera technique and passion for the story. A must see on DVD, well worth having in your film collection. When you think of Poland, you might be thinking about dishes such as Pieorgi, footballer Robert Lewandowski or perhaps Jan Lewan, also known as The Polka King ( you should see the film based on his life, on Netflix with Black Jack ). But there is so much more that we could talk about Poland, such as films made in Poland. I have seen a couple, and most of them are good, except for 365 Days. But when i saw that Netflix have released a Polish crime drama called Furioza, i was actually curious to give this film a chance. Is this a film everyone should be watching on Netflix this summer, or is Furioza very easy to forget?

An event from the past seperates the fate of three friends. Police woman Dzika ( Weronika Ksiakzkiewicz ) confront her friend David ( Mateusz Banasiuk ) and make him an offer he can´t reject. Either he becomes a police informant, or his brother Kaszub ( Wojciech Zielinski ) will go to prison with a long-term sentence. To make this work, David decides to infiltrate the organized criminal group where his brother is located known as Furioza. He knows the risks, and that he may not survive, but he is willing to do anything for his beloved brother.

I have seen a lot of criminal films, and it is always easy to compare films in this genre and say that we have seen it all before. For the most part, a lot of these films borrow ideas from similar films, and combine them together with other genres. And there are elements in Furioza that we have seen many times before, but the one thing that makes this film interesting is the background story of the criminals. Since we are dealing with football hooligan gangster´s, you know from an early start that they don´t really care if they hurt anyone. The gang Furioza is a brotherhood, and you show the pride by fighting, no matter how injured you get. The one thing that makes Furioza especially stand out from certain criminal films, is the level of violence that this film deliver. And i honestly think they made the right choice, not holding back on the brutality. In real life, this is the way criminal football hooligan´s actually live, not knowing if they will live the next day. I have to talk about the best acting performance of this film, and that is from Polish actor Mateusz Damecki as the character Golden. This may be the best acting performance i have ever seen someone do in a Polish film, he is absolutely brilliant. The way he expresses his anger, hate, and struggle with personal problems, Mateusz manage to bring out all the emotions through his performance. I guarantee you will not see many acting performances this year on this level, so be prepared to feel emotionally affected by his performance. I also really enjoy the acting performance from actor Wojciech Zielinski as the character Kaszub, another damaged soul with a lot of bad experiences. As the story of Furioza moves along, you get a sense that a lot of these hooligan members don´t see any light in their lives, as if they are stuck, with no other option where happiness does not really exists. As if they only see one way out, a depressing but true image of criminal life, and this is without a doubt one of the reasons why Furioza feels realistic. Director Cyprian T. Olencki knows how to tell a powerful story, while making sure he capture the brutal lifestyle of criminals in a brutal and honest way. If you are looking for something good this summer on Netflix, you should definetely give Furioza a chance.

Rating: DDD


onsdag 22 juni 2022

Pursuit

There are actors who can do all kinds of genres, and still deliver through their performances, no matter what the plot is about. One of those actors who have proved that many times, is legendary actor John Cusack. This is a man who have done so many wonderful films over the years, it would take me forever to go through the list. So i decided to pick one of my personal favourite films with John Cusack. And that is the 1997 action comedy known as Point Blank Grosse from director George Armitare. This is one of those films i can rewatch over and over, and still enjoy it just as much as i did back in 1997. Grosse Point Blank tells the story of professional assassin Martin Blank ( John Cusack ), is preparing for a job, when his assistant, Marcella ( Joan Cusack ), inform him that he has received an invitation to his ten-year high school reunion. The job goes bad for Martin, when he is forced to shoot the target, when it was supposed to look like the victim would die of natural causes. His client demands that he makes amends by killing a Federal witness in Detroit, Michigan, close to his hometown Grosse Pointe, where the reunion is taking place. Eventually Martin decides to go to the high school reunion, but how will he keep his secret that he is an assassin? Grosse Point Blanke is not only a funny film, but this film also have some really good characters included. I also feel that this film manage to capture the true spirit of a high school reunion, since you never know what have happened over all of those years. Have everyone changed, or are some of your former class mates just the same? This is definetely worth checking out on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney +, YouTube or anywhere else you can watch the film. Some of you may remember actor Emile Hirsch from films such as Into The Wild, Milk, Killer Joe and The Autopsy Of Jane Doe. We can find both John Cusack and Emile Hirsch in an action film, simply called Pursuit. I decided to pick up a DVD copy to check out the film, so the question is, is this one of the better action films of 2022, or is it much worse than i expected?

Detective Mike Braslin ( Jake Manley ) crosses path with Rick Calloway ( Emile Hirsch ), a ruthless hacker who´s trying to save his kidnapped wife from a drug cartel. But when things don´t go completely as planned, Rick is forced to find another solution.

I really tried going into Pursuit with an open mind, when you see that this film has a pretty good cast. I thought i might find something to be positive about this film. But i have to be honest and say, this could be the worst film i have seen so far in 2022. As an action film, Pursuit does not have one single exciting action scene. There is not one moment where i felt that the action sequences worked at all. It is almost like this film was made, just to cash in on the Hollywood stars, hoping to sell a lot of DVD´s and Blu Ray´s. What you get is an action film that does not really care about the characters, or the action scenes as well. Every time you hear dialogue between the main characters, it is extremely easy to fall asleep. The acting performances does not have any depth at all, and they seemed bored themselves standing in front of the camera. Especially John Cusack, who does not seem to care at all. It is almost as if he is just waiting to get paid, so he can leave the set and enjoy himself at a night club visit instead. What about the plot? There is actually an interesting plot here, if it was made with passion for the right kind of characters. But the plot is not constructed in a clever way, and you loose interest from an early start. To see actor Emile Hirsch with a face tatoo, playing a professional computer hacker, is a very odd combination. If he actually tried to deliver an interesting character, i might have been more interested. But not even he seems interested in making this film, so he basically deliver dialogue, just as stiff as Donald Trump Jr´s ranting videos. We have to talk about the shooting scenes for a while. Have you ever seen an action film with so boring shooting scenes, that you wonder why they didn´t even try? And that is exactly how you will feel while watching Pursuit. Director Brian Skiba ( who directed Beverly Hills Christmas with Dean Cain ) probably had a cool idea on paper, too bad he could not make it work in the actual film. If you did not think you could find a film that will help you with a good night´s sleep, this is the film you are looking for. Pursuit is the best sleeping pill you could find this year on the market, and that is the only positive thing i can say about this film. Pursuit may be the worst film of the year, and i suppose that might make someone happy, at least that is something worth celebrating. Champagne anyone?

Rating: D