Style over substance? Well, let’s just say that Hackers is a fast and enjoyable thriller which has a sizeable overload of style. There must be some substance under all that glitz. It’s curious because the same question could be asked of its director, Ian Softley’s next film, K-Pax, which was beautifully shot and designed but […]
Read more "Hackers (1995)"
Supervillains. It’s not exactly obvious to the uninitiated, but there are two distinct types of supervillain: The Bond villain and The Comic Book villain. It seemed a strange coincidence when two studios came out with movies with supervillains as heroes at the same time, but Despicable Me‘s Gru is clearly the Bond-iest of Bond Villains… […]
Read more "Megamind (2010)"
(aka, Piranha DD) You know how it goes. Someone out there recommends a film as a wild exploitation movie which is pure fun (this time around, I believe it was Mauler on one of his E.F.A.P. podcasts) and you actually go out and watch the thing. Let’s just say the results are…unpredictable. Now there are […]
Read more "Piranha 3DD (2012)"
Honorable Mention I think it would help if I started with another Shaw Brothers film I saw not too long ago: The Black Lizard, a ghost story involving a lizard monster. It had Mario Bava-style atmospheric lighting (heavy on the green), ghosts, monsters, special effects, and had clearly been patterned on the Euro Horrors and […]
Read more "Wu du tian luo [The Web of Death] (1976)"
(literal title: The Dragon and the Freckle Princess) Mamoru Hosada is perhaps the best of that generation of young anime directors who have all been called “the next Miyazaki.” Although, to be fair, I still prefer his early films, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars to anything he’s made since. He first started […]
Read more "Ryû to sobakasu no hime [Belle] (2021)"
Curiouser and curiouser. This was my third early Sixties Italian science fiction film for the weekend. And, by far, the oddest. Even for the early Sixties. Now there are still a few little-known science fiction movies from the age before Lucas lurking out there which I haven’t seen yet. But it isn’t always easy to […]
Read more "La poupée [The Doll] (1962)"
Over the years I’ve heard about a lot of little known and obscure science fiction films. It is remarkable how many of the really obscure ones were made in Europe during the Sixties, and quite a few of them came from Italy, so many that I just spent the weekend watching three of these Sixties […]
Read more "Omicron (1963)"
When someone says “a science fiction film produced by Dino De Laurentiis,” I’m sure none of the images that come into your mind look anything like Il Disco Volante. I suppose that’s not an entire surprise as it would be four years before he would make Danger: Diabolik and Barbarella, and eighteen before Flash Gordon. […]
Read more "Il disco volante [The Flying Saucer] 1964"
This is one of those films which creeps up on you and then surprises the heck out of you. I’ll admit that you never know what you are going to find when you watch some movie you just dug up on a routine search. Most of them are routine, a few terrible, and a small […]
Read more "Interface (1984)"
If the basic premise of this one sounds familiar, you’ve probably read Robert Sheckley. For those of you who have never encountered him, Sheckley was one of the greatest science fiction short story writers of the Fifties and Sixties, and continued writing books well into the Millenium. He was a brilliant and wildly inventive satirist […]
Read more "Xchange (2001)"