7 items from 2016
One of the most prolific, up and coming directors working in genre films today, filmmaker Mickey Keating is an inspiration to those who have a dream and a passion. From his cult-based shocker film Ritual, all the way to the alien conspiracy-filled Pod, the Polanski homage of Darling and now Carnage Park, Keating wears his influences on his sleeve, without ever feeling like he’s lifting from those influences, his films all feel uniquely original and he’s one of the few filmmakers today who has yet to make a film I didn’t love.
We had a short chat with Keating to discuss his survival horror thriller, Carnage Park (In theaters/VOD now!), a film that showcases excellent performances from Cheap Thrills star Pat Healy, The Last Exorcism‘s Ashley Bell and Ferris Bueller’S Day Off/Young Guns 2 star Alan Ruck. Read on!
Your knack for making films »
- Jerry Smith
If you’re an actor playing someone who’s sick and twisted and evil, almost nothing will get you into character quite like a startling new look. That tends to be the case whether the look comes courtesy of the makeup department (think Heath Ledger’s Joker in “The Dark Knight” or Robert De Niro’s Al Capone in “The Untouchables”) or, simply, the electric razor. In “The Duel,” Woody Harrelson plays some sort of lethally charismatic Southern cult leader in the years after the Civil War, and his performance, which is all about being the kind of person no one can take their eyes off of, begins with his look: a shaved head, which seems like no big deal, but with matching shaved eyebrows (and occult tattooish squiggles in their place), all of which give Harrelson the appearance of a death-row psycho, or an overgrown baby, or maybe a strutting alien. »
- Owen Gleiberman
Brian Trenchard-Smith’s 1982 actioner is an exploitation riff on 1932’s The Most Dangerous Game featuring a cast made in mondo heaven including Steve Railsback, Olivia Hussey and Michael Craig (Harryhausen’s Mysterious Island). Brian’s claims for the film as a satire can be borne out by its British release title, Blood Camp Thatcher, a back-handed salute to the steely Prime Minister.
- TFH Team
Two episodes were provided prior to broadcast.
CBS has its procedural game down to a science. After ten seasons of success with the crime thriller Criminal Minds (and one not-so-successful spinoff, subtitled Suspect Behavior), the network has decided to section off a new segment of its FBI profiling world. Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders brings back the world-traveling team first introduced in the parent series and gives them their own cavalcade of off-putting psychopaths to chase down.
The difference here is moreso in location (Thailand and India in the two episodes sent for review, but suspect green screen suggests a CBS lot in Southern California) than team dynamics. Anyone familiar with this kind of cop show procedural formula will undoubtedly find easy pickings in the line-up of likable leads offered beyond the borders of Criminal Minds’ America-locked Og series. But there’s simply nothing else to the show: it is, unapologetically, »
- Mitchel Broussard
Stars: Natalie Burn, Vinnie Jones, Daryl Hannah, Edward Furlong, Jason London, Robert Davi, Michael Paré, Christa Campbell, David Keith, Michael Copon, Daz Crawford, Augie Duke, Benny Urquidez | Written by Mark Atkins, Natalie Burn, Ryan Priest | Directed by Mark Atkins
What makes distributors think that joe public will grab any Vinnie Jones movie off the supermarket shelf sight unseen? The man isn’t exactly the bastion of quality direct to market movies these days (have you seen the godawful Kill Kane?) Thankfully I took a look at the rest of the credits for Left To Die and it was those that sold me on buying this gem of a film on iTunes, Not Mr. Jones… After all, just look at that cast: Daryl Hannah, Edward Furlong, Jason London, Robert Davi, Michael Paré, Christa Campbell, David Keith and there’s even a cameo by Benny “The Jet” Urquidez – a veritable who’s who of Dtv megastars! »
- Phil Wheat
Want a quality action film, but you only have an hour and a half? Step this way...
Looking back over the genre, action films definitely haven’t suffered from the trend to make everything longer. They’ve always been pretty long, regularly clocking in at over two hours. Perhaps because of all the slo-mo? But while the sweet spot for action classics seems to be the 100-110 minute mark, there are those that have cut the genre right down to basics, and succeeded all the more for it.
Below is my pick of 25 great action films 90 minutes or under. Even more so than other genres, action crosses many other films - picking a pure ‘action’ flick is all but impossible. So below I’ve chosen films that retain action sequences as their main narrative device, and keep the action at the heart of the movie, rather than as a extra. »
Rob Zombie truly loves horror movies. But he still hasn’t made a good one, and “31” is a perfect encapsulation of the reasons why: It’s a fanboy’s highlight reel of homages, without any of the credibility or context that made most of the films he’s inspired by so fine. Those who liked his first narrative features, “House of 1000 Corpses” and “The Devil’s Rejects,” will probably enjoy his latest, which feels like a mash-up of the two (as well as numerous older films). But for others, this energetic exercise in forced badassery will be too silly and self-conscious to feel genuinely edgy, despite all the blood spilt and familiar taboos violated. (You know something’s wrong when your reaction to one character’s entrance is “Oh. A Nazi killer dwarf. That figures.”) As with Zombie’s prior efforts outside the “Halloween” reboots, this looks destined for »
- Dennis Harvey
7 items from 2016
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