I suppose it was inevitable. Lately, I’ve reviewed quite a few Hacker films. Most of these are, frankly, borderline science fiction at best, although it is often hard to figure out where the reality ends and the science fiction begins — or whether they have any solid connection to reality, no matter how believable they […]
Read more ".com for Murder (2002)"
Mainland China has not produced many horror films. Not that I’m sure Beauty Head of the Haunted House is a horror film. In fact, it is about as unclassifiable as any genre film can be. Certainly there are horror elements, but there are also a lot of other things which do not neatly fit into […]
Read more "Xiong zhai mei ren tou [Beauty Head of the Haunted House] (1989)"
(aka, The Tin Girl) I really don’t know what to make of this film. But as it is an arty, Seventies, Italian comedy, that isn’t a bad thing. The time? Well, it must be the future: there’s talk of aliens, going to the moon, and even a company building robots. But it can’t be too […]
Read more "La ragazza di latta (1970)"
Honorable Mention This is an odd one. I struggle with finding some way to classify this one, but it just refuses to cooperate. I suppose you might label it a Giallo mystery — many have — but it doesn’t have any of the usual trappings of that Italian subgenre: we have no secret killer with […]
Read more "Circuito chiuso [Closed Circuit] (1978)"
Now the story is that the huge ratings of Bruce Campbell’s excellent SciFi Original, Terminal Invasion, came as such a shock to the Network that Bruce persuaded them to let him direct a movie he’d written, an absurd horror comedy called Man With the Screaming Brain. Whatever the case, is is a strange and improbable […]
Read more "Man with the Screaming Brain (2005)"
This is an amazing film. It may be the best film that Andrew Niccol has made. Now I realize that’s actually quite a claim: his first film was Gattaca, one of the best SF films of the Nineties. And, even if he didn’t actually direct it, he wrote the script for the equally remarkable The Truman […]
Read more "Anon (2018)"
Horror films often take a “hit-and-run” approach to science. Take this stylish Giallo thriller by Italian cult favorite, Dario Argento. We have a genius scientist, an entomologist, played with eccentric zest by Donald Pleasance – one of the indispensable actors of the 70s and 80’s horror boom – who calmly informs us that insects have an incredible […]
Read more "Phenomena (1985)"
(aka, Dracula vs. Frankenstein, Reincarnator) There are bad movies and then there are BAD movies. We’ve all seen more than our share of dire, shoddily made films that should have been put out of their misery long before the public ever suffered through them. But then there is that rare beast, the thoroughly bonkers little film, where […]
Read more "Assignment Terror [Los monstruos del terror] (1970)"
Giallo, of course, is an intriguing subgenre, a certain elegant Italian blend of a lonely beauty, a mysterious serial killer with a knife, and stunning, hypercolorful imagery. Think of it as the Espresso version of the ordinary instant coffee slasher film. But, no matter how your mysterious killer slices it, the notion of combing Giallo with science fiction […]
Read more "Le Orme [aka, Footprints, Footprints on the Moon, Primal Impulse] (1975)"