Back in 1947, Robert Montgomery directed his version of the Phillip Marlowe story, The Lady in the Lake, using a point of view camera to stand in for Marlowe (he plays the detective in the few shots where his face is visible). It’s an interesting experiment, but not a classic. It’s an intriguing gimmick at first, […]
Read more "Hardcore Henry (2015)"
Some years ago, I published an essay at the late and much lamented Internet Review of Science Fiction listing a number of films which desperately needed to be released on DVD. It included an intriguing German film by bad boy director Rainer Werner Fassbinder (who made more than 40 films before his death at age 35) World […]
Read more "World on a Wire [Welt am Draht] (1973)"
The “Uncanny Valley” (which gets referenced briefly in Uncanny) is the theory that when, say, a robot or AI program becomes too realistic – but not quite perfectly human – that people tend to find it disturbing, even creepy. And Uncanny brings in a lot of that creepiness in a deceptively simple three-player drama about a […]
Read more "Uncanny (2015)"
The real puzzle about this one is why so many critics seemed to like it. Back in the 80s, Steve Glenn, an annoying slacker, decided to take a trip out West while filming what was meant to be a post-apocalyptic movie in the vein of Mad Max. So he grabbed his unwilling girlfriend, a VHS […]
Read more "Radio Free Steve (2000)"
Well, it isn’t completely familiar. We’ve seen an awful lot of Young Adult novel series getting turned into SF movies lately, and it is rather nice to see one which doesn’t have children forced to fight each other… Ooops, we’ve got that. Mostly. We do, however have a special effects heavy apocalypse, with aliens launching four […]
Read more "The 5th Wave (2016)"
Supposedly, Dino De Laurentiis decided to make a ripoff of his own undersea mutation thriller, Leviathan, and hired a new writer to rework Colin Wilson’s original story into a new script. It isn’t too hard to believe when one remembers some of the other stories about Dino – like buying out Alejandro Jodorowsky’s failed version of Dune to give his […]
Read more "The Rift [aka, Endless Descent](1990)"
The main reason any one remembers this one is that John McNaughton, who directed Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, chose to make this often comic horror film next. Henry is often hailed as a great masterpiece. It is also seen as an exploitative piece of trash. The Borrower really isn’t that memorable an entry into the “alien on the […]
Read more "The Borrower (1991)"
This one is special. Jeff Nichols, who has gained a considerable reputation for his strong, southern dramas, switches gears (well, just a little) to give us a remarkable science fiction drama, which is really a story about the lengths a father is willing to go to for his son. His son’s strange condition gives him […]
Read more "Midnight Special (2016)"
I really wanted to like this one. In 1987, Roger Ebert was asked to predict which filmmakers would be the “Grandmasters of the 21st Century.” At the top of his list? Alex Cox, who had just directed Repo Man and Sid and Nancy. Well, that didn’t work out. Repo Man remains one of my favorite SF […]
Read more "Bill the Galactic Hero (2014)"
Nigel Kneale, while best remembered for his four Quatermass stories, created quite a few interesting horror and SF films during a long career as a scriptwriter. One notes his TV play, The Creature (filmed by Hammer as The Abominable Snowman ), the horror series Beasts, a comedy about a guy with an imaginary girlfriend from space (Kinvig), the interesting […]
Read more "The Stone Tape (1972)"