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Now on Blu-ray: Sergio Martino's Torso Looks Great From Shameless Films

18 November 2017 10:00 AM, PST

Shameless Films in the UK continues their commitment to sharing the best in classic sleaze with their new UK Blu-ray premiere of Sergio Martino's Torso. The company has recently released two of Martino's other classic giallo films on Blu-ray - The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh and All the Colours of the Dark, both starring Edwige Fenech - but this is probably one of the most eagerly awaited film from the director's filmography to hit the British Isles in HD. The film was released on Blu-ray back in 2011 in the Us by Blue Underground, and I reviewed it then: Sergio Martino's film mines the primordial brain, mingling sex and violence in a very explicit way, more explicit than most, even, and creates a very...

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Kolkata Iff 2017 Review: Tikli And Laxmi Bomb Takes Back The Streets Of Mumbai

18 November 2017 9:30 AM, PST

There's no escaping the topic of treatment of women around the world right now. From the ominous spread of sexual assault accusations and the accompanying fallout in Hollywood, to the way the American political system has been similarly affected by a sudden rise in visibility and weight given to the calls for justice from women who've been victims of male aggressors. However, though we may be the loudest, America is hardly the only part of the world in which women are harassed, persecuted, and treated poorly, and several films out of India over the last few years have made bold attempts to address the mind-boggling unbalance between one half of the population and the other. The latest film to tackle the challenges faced by women...

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Cinema One Originals 2017 Review: Nervous Translation, an Enamoring Look into Childhood

18 November 2017 9:02 AM, PST

People often say “see the world through the eyes of a child,” acting as if these words are the remedy to cynicism. Somehow this phrase is charged with what we imagine childhood to be: innocence, authenticity, joy and tears (somehow our emotions back then feel purer), wonder, etc.   And yet what we often brush aside is how childhood also carries vulnerability, confusion, uncertainty, naiveté. Shireen Seno’s Nervous Translation showcases the balance and interconnectedness of these themes in her layered magical realist take on growing up in the 80s.   Yael (Jana Agoncillo) is an 8-year old girl who lives with her mother, Val. She is frequently left alone, coming home to an empty house after school. She usually preoccupies herself by preparing miniature meals...

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Tuftland: Finnish Hillbillys Get Creepy in New Trailer

18 November 2017 7:49 AM, PST

The Hillybilly trope has generally been the pervue of American cinema; but seemingly weird people and cults in the countryside exist everywhere, and a new feature from Finland aims to set a new bar. With its North American premiere set for Other Worlds Austin next month, the first trailer has dropped. A heastrong textile student Irina (Veera W. Vilo) tries to overcome her problems by accepting a summer job offer from an isolated and offbeat village of Kyrsyä. As Irina begins to get a grip of herself, the harmless and offbeat hillbillies begin to reveal their true nature. Finland is already a country not known to many people outside of Europe, so there are extra levels of the creepy unknown in the story. The trailer...

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Tuftland: Finnish Hillbillys Get Creepy in New Trailer

18 November 2017 6:00 AM, PST

The Hillybilly trope has generally been the pervue of American cinema; but seemingly weird people and cults in the countryside exist everywhere, and a new feature from Finland aims to set a new bar. With its North American premiere set for Other Worlds Austin next month, the first trailer has dropped. A heastrong textile student Irina (Veera W. Vilo) tries to overcome her problems by accepting a summer job offer from an isolated and offbeat village of Kyrsyä. As Irina begins to get a grip of herself, the harmless and offbeat hillbillies begin to reveal their true nature. Finland is already a country not known to many people outside of Europe, so there are extra levels of the creepy unknown in the story. The trailer...

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South Africa Enters The Streaming TV Revolution With Tali's Wedding Diary

17 November 2017 1:30 PM, PST

The moving to streaming video services continues to have repurcussions around the globe and that shift is reaching South Africa now with upcoming comedy series Tali's Wedding Diary. The first ever original series from African streaming service Showmax, Tali's Wedding Diary is notable on a few fronts. First, in an industry pretty perpetually squeezed for resources the production values here are notably high end. Given that South Africa's national broadcaster - the Sabc - has been going through a very significant financial crisis, this is no small thing for the regional industry. Second, the show has its origins not in the established television community but within the world of YouTube, coming from the creative team behind hugely popular local web-series Suzelle Diy - a series...

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Vr Dispatch: Exploring the Intersection of Art and Tech at The Engadget Experience Alternate Realities

16 November 2017 1:30 PM, PST

Earlier this year the tech blog Engadget announced that they were giving away half a million dollars in $100,000 chunks to five media arts pieces exploring the technologies of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality. Half a year later and those five pieces debuted this week (whether totally finished or not) at The Engadget Experience Alternate Realities event in downtown L.A. We were on hand to try out each of the pieces and report back on what's going on in what's collective being called, Xr. Dinner Party The most narrative piece of the five is Angel Manuel Soto's 360 Vr story about one of the most famous alien abduction tales. Set in 1961, Dinner Party takes us into the lives of Barney and Betty...

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Iskra: Watch The Impressive Trailer For Montenegrin Crime Thriller Iskra

16 November 2017 1:00 PM, PST

The local cinema culture of Montenegro is still a fairly emergent one but there are some promising young talents in the region, among them Gojko Berkuljan who makes his feature debut with Iskra. The political turmoil of the region is reflected in its tale of a young journalist looking in to the unsolved disappearances of political opponents and dissidents through the splintering of the former Yugoslavia. But if that summary feels as though it would make for dry viewing, the trailer says somthing very different with its strong sense of atmosphere and a very intimate, personal approach to both the narrative and the threat of what is exposed. Iskra is just int he early days of its festival run, with an appearance in Zagreb, and...

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Dreamland Reunites Bruce McDonald, Tony Burgess and Stephen McHattie for a New Genre Mashup

16 November 2017 12:30 PM, PST

Fans of Pontypool may rejoice for the beginning of production on Bruce McDonald's latest film, Dreamland. It reunites the director with writer Tony Burgess and star Stephen McHattie. While not the long rumoured sequel to the Canadian cult semiotic zombie film (at one point titled Pontypool Changes), but a totally new story, being tailor made for McHattie's particular character actor genius: You have seen McHattie in a lot of Darren Aronfsky films (including The Fountain and mother!), as Night Owl in Zack Snyder's Watchmen, and as the bad dude in the prologue of David Cronenberg's A History Of Violence. McDonald stated, "Once in a while, in this movie game, we connect with people who are stars – and we are inspired to create just the right movie...

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Head Transplant Leads To Asses Kicked In Victor Vu's Loi Bao

16 November 2017 12:00 PM, PST

Everyone loves a good origin story, right? That seems to be the general premise behind the structure of the ongoing wave of superhero films and in the quest to come up with a compelling origin Vietnamese director Victor Vu has just come up with a doozy for his upcoming action picture Loi Bao. There are no capes or tights or superheroes of any sort here. Nope. None of that. What there Is, however, is a man who has his head illegally transplanted on to someone else's body in an illegal and experiemental operation to save his own life and then gains a whole stack of skills and experience when the body turns out to belong to a highly trained killer. So, yeah, it's sort of...

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70s Rewind: Disney's The Rescuers, Fun for Kids, Diverting for Adults Too

16 November 2017 11:02 AM, PST

The theatrical release of Pixar's Coco, distributed by Disney, prompted me to watch The Rescuers (1977), a hand-drawn animated artifact that, it turns out, holds up quite well. As many children of my generation did, I grew up in the 1960s watching Disney films in theaters, not just newly-produced animated works like The Jungle Book but also reissued classics like Bambi and Peter Pan. Yet my sense of humor was far more tickled by Warner Bros. cartoons that I watched every Saturday morning on television, becoming friends with the likes of Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig. After watching Robin Hood in 1973, however, I decided I was too old for all things Disney. My adolescent self fully embraced Ralph Bakshi's Wizards when it opened in...

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Phyllis Grande's Haunted Explores The True Horrors Behind An Urban Legend

16 November 2017 10:00 AM, PST

The annual Cinema One Originals festival is just around the corner in the Philippines and by far - By Far - the film that I am most curious about in this year's line up is Phyllis Grande's documentary Haunted: A Last Visit To The Red House. The trailer for this one is recently arrived and it makes for fascinating viewing. Grande takes the structure of a horror film with her crew exploring the urban legends of a ruined building out in a remote location. It's a crumbling and desolate place and it's no surprise at all to learn of persistent rumors of hauntings on the site. And then Grande pulls the rug out by getting to the true history of the place, used during World...

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Review: The Swindlers Cons Viewers Out of Their Time

16 November 2017 9:02 AM, PST

Stars Hyun Bin and Yoo Ji-tae go toe-to-toe in this month's The Swindlers, a loose and jazzy caper thriller that mines Korea's abundant fascination with grifters. Or at least that's what it attempts to do, as this blatant ripoff of the work of director Choi Dong-hoon (Tazza: The High Rollers, The Thieves) is a grating star vehicle that smacks of smug ineptitude and a whole lot of cut corners. After swindling countless unsuspecting victims, a master con man disappears with a huge fortune and when the prosecution fails to track him down they write him off as dead. Later, ambitious prosecutor Hee-su catches wind that the man has resurfaced and he engages the help of three tricksters he shadily harbors on his payroll. Together they...

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The Strangers: Prey At Night Trailer: Will The Sequel Retain its Early Aughts Era Roots?

16 November 2017 8:31 AM, PST

A strong first teaser for The Strangers: Prey at Night has landed from Aviron Pictures. 47 Meters Down director, Johannes Roberts, takes the reigns on the loooong promised sequel to Bryan Bertino's seminal home invasion thriller The Strangers which shocked audiences with its bleak and ambiguous vision. Bertino, who most recently directed the criminally underseen The Monster, broke out in the mid 2000's when films like Saw and Hostile were drawing praise and criticism in equal measures for bringing the so-called "torture porn" sub-genre to life. While The Strangers doesn't completely fit that mold, it's impossible to separate the film's commitment to icy, uncompromising terror from the zeitgeist of the time. Ten years on, the horror genre has changed considerably, even gone mainstream since Blumhouse...

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Exclusive Creepy Clip: Nails, Thick With Dread

16 November 2017 8:02 AM, PST

In our creepy exclusive clip from Dennis Bartok's Nails, the room fills up with dread and then something happens ... well, I'll just stick with "creepy" as a descriptor, but I really like what it did to me. Described as a psychological horror film, Nails "centers on Dana Milgrom (Shauna Macdonald, Filth, Moon Dogs)," according to the official description. She's "a track coach and mother who has survived a near-death car accident, only to find herself paralyzed and trapped inside her own body. While struggling to regain control of her life, Dana is confronted with a vindictive spirit; a terrifying presence called Nails, whom she is convinced exists inside her hospital room. "Faced with skepticism from her husband, doctors and the staff, and believed to...

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Review: Revolt, a Massive Case of Deja Vu

16 November 2017 6:00 AM, PST

It’s a known fact that movies influence and feed off each other. With so many being made, it’s becoming harder every time to do something truly original; it’s up to filmmakers to use well-known elements in fresh, new ways. Take Joe Miale’s sci-fi action film Revolt, a hodgepodge of other films, which still manages to carve out its own identity. It’s a simple setup: Earth (or at least Africa, in this case) is invaded by mechanical aliens that make a lot of whirring noises and have weapons that can turn humans into literal dust. Humanity fights back, but rather than focus on the big battle, Miale gives us the story of an amnesiac soldier known as Bo (Lee Pace) and sexy French doctor Nadia (one-time...

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"Root of Darkness", Swedish independent cult film is now out on VOD!

16 November 2017 4:40 AM, PST

Just like the Swedish cult movie "Cannibal Fog" earlier this week, another Swedish cult film is out now on VOD via the same service, Indielane.tv. The film is a mix between the old classic Ingmar Bergman movies and the "Evil Dead" franchise - so any curious moviebuff should be pleassantly entertained. Directors/writers: Gustav Ljungdahl & Jesper Danielsson | Producer: Jonas Wolcher | Stars: Jesper Danielsson, Fanny Hedenberg, Hugo Hilton-Brown   Erland is about to celebrate his 50th birthday. His wife Greta has invited some friends over to their newly bought cabin for a party. Erland is not happy about the upcoming party especially when some of the guests are relatives to Greta which he doesn’t like. The day before the party hell falls down a dried well...

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Criterion in February 2018: Living Dead, Lambs, Gallows and More

15 November 2017 1:02 PM, PST

A fascinating lineup will be on tap from the Criterion Collection in February 2018. Widely available in horribly-presented public domain versions for years, a new 4K restoration of George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead will be rolled out, including "never-before-seen footage from the production," according to the official statement, along with "hordes of interviews and programs exploring the incredible story of the making of this trailblazing independent film." I can't help proudly stating that I owned an original copy of Jonathan Demme's The Silence of the Lambs when Criterion first released the horror classic on DVD -- let's not talk about the awful moment I realized I'd lost it in a cross-country move -- so I am very happy to hear that the...

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Cinema One Originals 2017 Review: Paki (Please Care), a Poignant Ensemble Piece on Family, Contempt, and Love

15 November 2017 11:02 AM, PST

About two-thirds into Giancarlo Abrahan’s sophomore feature Paki, almost the whole of its ensemble start to gather around a table for a meal.   This is the first time the family’s matriarch Alejandra (acted to a tee by Dexter Doria) will face once again her then not yet present and newly estranged husband Uro (Noel Trinidad). Her adult children — most vocal the middle child Ella (Eula Valdes) — express their disdain for their mother’s (for them) unwarranted and abrupt separation. “You’ve been happy for 50 years!” “Dad has always been like that,” “We can’t allow you to do this because if we do we’ll be picking sides,” they take turns throwing in condescending jabs.   Alejandra’s only ally in the squabble is her grandson...

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Take Me To The Moon Trailer: High School Romance Takes Flight

15 November 2017 10:02 AM, PST

The first trailer for Take Me to the Moon stars Vivian Sung (Our Times) and Jasper Liu and looks to be a potentially delightful high school romance.  Set in Taiwan and directed by Chung-yi Hsieh, the film is inspired by the song "Take Me to the Moon," a classic by Taiwanese singer Tom Chang, according to ScreenDaily. The story revolves around six friends who are in a band together during high school. After they graduate, they go their separate ways until a 10-year reunion. But then one of them is "suddenly transported back to 1997" and "given the chance to change everyone's fate."  Take Me to the Moon will open in Taiwan on December 1 and in Hong Kong via Edko Films on December 7....

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