Friday, 19 May 2017

I Blame Society #4: The Dark Crystal (1982)

I was only ever taken to see two films by my mum as a kid, both at the Drake Cinema's Summer Club, where every Wednesday morning in the school hols they'd show recent films and charge 50p for kids. And one time it was Return of the Jedi, which for me as a kid of seven was the Undisputed! Highlight! of My Summer, Possibly My Life to Date. But while I don't rate Star Wars all that highly these days, the other film was The Dark Crystal and that had a lasting effect.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

We Don't Go Back #48: Sauna (AKA Evil Rising) (2008)

The cheapest film I've bought for a long time, this, for the princely sum of ten pence sterling on eBay. AJ Annila's Finnish historical horror Sauna deserved a whole lot better than being saddled with a UK title that has nothing to do with its content (Evil Rising), and a presentation so lazy that they haven't even bothered to replace the title cards, just literally cutting it off the front of the film without a replacement, so the film as it stands doesn't even have a name at all (which is why my usual practice of putting the title at the front of the post failed this time). The subtitles weren't checked by a first language English speaker.

Sauna deserves better.

Friday, 12 May 2017

We Do, In Fact, Go Back (in praise of Folk Horror Revival)

Today I received early copies of Wyrd Harvest Press's two new books: North, by Phil Breach and Tim Turnbull; and This Game of Strangers, by Bob Beagrie and Jane Burn. I have only really had the chance to dip in, so this isn't a review, but both collections, the former a mixture of poetry and prose, the latter poetry, have a powerful sense of place and time.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

I Blame Society #3: Excalibur (1981)

Last week, I was, for the very first time, paid to write a film review. I was sent the price of a cinema ticket to see Guy Ritchie's King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and write about it.

I'm apprehensive.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

We Don't Go Back – Guest Post: The Borderlands (2013)

Another guest post today, this time from friend and critical sparring partner Jon Dear. Jon is still among the most knowledgeable people I know on the subject of TV and film, and has recently started up his own blog, Views From a Hill, where he's been rewatching Twin Peaks and offering illuminating insight into a bunch of old TV shows I haven't even heard of, let alone seen. Over to Jon.

This review will spoiler the hell out of the film. So if you’ve yet to see it and you want to, and have any intention of enjoying it, please watch the film before reading this review. I’ll wait...

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

I Blame Society #2: Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (1988)

(This is part of I Blame Society, a short series where I cast a critical eye over things I never stopped loving.)

Easily the most mainstream of films I've looked at in the last six months or so, this. All the others have been in some way odd, or off kilter, which I suppose makes this an outlier, a feel-good comedy about two dumb guys who just need to get their high school diplomas.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

We Don't Go Back #47: Eye of the Devil (1966)

Some films and TV shows are subject to a strange external force; a tragic event or a person related to these media carries an influence that subtly warps the thing itself, so it's actually impossible to watch it in the way you might have done when it was first released. And Eye of the Devil, adapted from Philip Loraine's novel Day of the Arrow and directed by J. Lee (The Guns of Navarone) Thompson, is a classic example. It is hard to find on DVD in the UK; you have to get a Region 1 import.