Monthly Archives: December 2010

Shock Cinema #39 (2010)

The fine folks at this long-running establishment review films from the abject abyss of forgotten filmland and, more importantly, interview actors and filmmakers from its margins. Captivating and crucial. Advertisements

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Valhalla Rising (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2009)

The tectonic pace; the cryptically sparse undialogue that hints at collisions between nature and religion, and collusions between religion and civilization; the gorgeous sound design that (literally) amps up every zephyr of wind over the crags, every creak of wood … Continue reading

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Witchboard (Kevin S. Tenney, 1986)

Carol J. Clover, by way of illustrating that the subtext of occult films is generally about men in crisis, has previously done dominating work deconstructing the relationship between the two male protagonists in this film. Yet what’s ironic is that … Continue reading

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28 Weeks Later (Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, 2007)

One of the paradoxical strengths of this film’s superior predecessor was painting its villains as cartoonishly evil: depth of characterization is lost, to be sure, but what is gained is a progressive reading, whereby the armed forces can be seen … Continue reading

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Night of the Demons 2 (Brian Trenchard-Smith, 1994)

Truly awful double entendres (“leave room for the holy ghost” indeed), campy set pieces (including a memorable backseat grope-session) and a narrative that (probably in spite of itself) draws parallels between the sexual longings of libidinous boarding school students and … Continue reading

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Night of the Demons (Kevin S. Tenney, 1988)

Apart from an astonishing out-of-left-field solo dance sequence, performed in hyperbolic strobe-lit Kate Bush style (and set to Bauhaus’ “Stigmata Martyr”), some innovative camerawork (cribbed, perhaps, from the demoncam in Evil Dead 2), and an exhortation to “eat a bowl … Continue reading

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Tourist Trap (David Schmoeller, 1979)

Neither calmly sitting in the lap of the slasher film, nor quietly cradled in the bosom of the supernatural thriller, this film is nonetheless a pleasant child; its evocative use of setting, its cheapjack convincing aesthetic, its inventive sound design, … Continue reading

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