The Tiger (2015)

Sometimes a film self-consciously goes for the ‘epic’ tag, and it’s clear from the very outset that this is the case with Park Hoon-jung’s 2015 movie The Tiger. With its sweeping Korean vistas, Sturm und Drang musical score and lone figure set against an unforgiving world it clearly fits the bill, and actually that’s just […]

Black Christmas (1974)

For a filmmaker largely forgotten by the wider audience, the late Bob Clark’s directorial career had a surprising impact. With 1981’s Porky’s, he blew the doors wide open on the teen sex comedy boom; and I understand 1983’s A Christmas Story is something of a perennial festive favourite in the US (I myself have never […]

The Canterville Ghost (1996)

Any horror fan of a certain age can tell you that 1996 was a big year for Neve Campbell. Off the back of that year’s The Craft and (more pointedly) Scream, the then-23 year old Canadian actress was elevated from “one of the girls off Party of Five” to a genre movie star, a status […]

Fear in the Night (1972)

Hammer is best-known for its Kensington Gore and its literary monsters, usually shot against a 60s-coloured 19th Century which is a distinctive aesthetic all of its own; the studio deviated from this formula quite considerably at times, though, in a range of films which seem to have divided critics ever since. Fear in the Night […]

Tag (2015)

I have a real love/hate thing going with Japanese director Sion Sono. On one hand, his so-called ‘hate’ trilogy contains, for me, some of the most genius, subversive films I have ever been immersed in; they’re absolutely jaw-dropping, to the point that I don’t know if I can feasibly revisit Guilty of Romance for fear […]

The Vikings (1958)

In a historical context, The Vikings might be deemed a bit of a curiosity, walking a tightrope between the grandiose historical epic and the B-movie swashbuckler. Given that its leading men Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis reunited two years later for Spartacus, it’s easy to dismiss The Vikings as little more than a dry run […]

The Yakuza (1974)

Movies in which East meets West have always been a somewhat tricky proposition. Historically, representations of Asians in American (and, for that matter, British/European) films and television have tended to hinge on stereotypes; generally either the impeccably wise asexual Kung Fu master, or “Miss-a Gorightry, I plotest.” The 1970s, being of course the most progressive […]

Demons of the Mind (1972)

It’s interesting how accounts of the later years of Hammer Films can vary according to the tastes of the writer. Some will sigh in resignation at how the once great company lost its way as the times changed; others, such as myself whose early horror education largely consisted of films from that era, look back […]

Willard (1971) and Ben (1972)

1970s cinema has many noteworthy qualities, but amongst these, the decade is certainly remarkable for its brief, but intriguing phase of imagining animals ‘going rogue’ and attacking humans; some of the resulting films were breakthrough hits, such as Jaws (1975), whereas some, such as Day of the Animals (1977) would be long-lost to obscurity if […]

Only Yesterday (1991)

When most people think of Studio Ghibli, they think either magical fantasy, high flying machines, or both. Almost all of the studio’s work (excluding one or two films) has some sort of larger-than-life element to it, be it flying witches or the newest airplane signalling the beginning of the Great War. Only Yesterday, Ghibli’s 1991 […]