For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.

Films Seen In 2012 Part 1

by Coheed 2.5
Link To Second List – Films Seen In 2012 Part 2 [As with the 2011 lists] This year, I’m continuing to note down all the films and any other works I’ve watched like last year. This time however, I am not just including the ones I’ve seen for the first time, but those I’ve rewatched too. Also for this year I’m adding additional information, such as the country the film is from, and dividing what I’ve watched by month (this second part will cover August to December, or as close to it as possible). Note: I may try some new things with these lists this year. If it does happen, I will edit them in accordance. ======== Films Seen In January… Read more

Link To Second List – Films Seen In 2012 Part 2

[As with the 2011 lists] This year, I’m continuing to note down all the films and any other works I’ve watched like last year. This time however, I am not just including the ones I’ve seen for the first time, but those I’ve rewatched too. Also for this year I’m adding additional information, such as the country the film is from, and dividing what I’ve watched by month (this second part will cover August to December, or as close to it as possible).

Note: I may try some new things with these lists this year. If it does happen, I will edit them in accordance.
========
Films Seen In January 2012

Essential Killing (Jerzy Skolimowski, 2010/Hungary-Ireland-Norway-Poland) – 9/10 [Rewatch]
Running Scared (Wayne Kramer, 2006/Germany-USA) – 1/10
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Sergei Parajanov, 1964/Soviet Union) – 10/10 [Rewatch]
Cat People (Jacques Tourneur, 1942/USA) – 6/10
Intimacy (Patrice Chéreau, 2001/France-Germany-Spain-UK) – 5/10 [Rewatch]
North to Alaska (Henry Hathaway, 1960/USA) – 5/10
The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005/UK) – 6/10 [Rewatch]
The Curse of the Cat People (Robert Wise and Gunther von Fritsch, 1944/USA) – 8/10
Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde (Roy Ward Baker, 1971/UK) – 6/10
Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte (Robert Aldrich, 1964/USA) – 7/10 [Rewatch]
American Grindhouse (Elijah Drenner, 2010/USA) – 7/10 [Rewatch]
Prototype (David Greene, 1983/USA) – 6/10
Maniac (Dwain Esper, 1934/USA) – 6/10
Marry the Night (Lady Gaga, 2011/USA) – 4/10
Mutant Chronicles (Simon Hunter, 2008/UK-USA) – 3/10
The Ninja Wars aka. Iga ninpôchô aka. Death of a Ninja (Kôsei Saitô & Mitsumasa Saito (?), 1982/Japan) – 3/10
Nightmare City (Umberto Lenzi, 1980/Italy-Mexico-Spain) – 3/10 [Rewatch]
Black Dynamite (Scott Sanders, 2009/USA) – 4/10 [Rewatch]
Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (William Beaudine, 1966/USA) – 1/10
Terror on Tour (Don Edmonds, 1980/USA) – 5/10
ECW Hardcore Heaven 2000 (2000/USA) – 6/10 [Rewatch]
Punch-Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002/USA) – 5/10
The Hidden Fortress (Akira Kurosawa, 1958/Japan) – 9/10 [Rewatch]
The Nude Restaurant (Andy Warhol, 1967/USA) – 8/10 [Rewatch]
Nightmares Come at Night (Jesus Franco, 1970/Liechtenstein) – 6/10
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, 2000/France-UK-USA) – 10/10 [Rewatch]
Run Lola Run (Tom Tykwer, 1998/Germany) – 6/10
The Bigamist (Ida Lupino, 1953/USA) – 8/10
Green Lantern (Martin Campbell, 2011/USA) – 4/10
Sixpenny Telegram (Donald Taylor, 1935/UK) – 6/10
A Colour Box (Len Lye, 1935/UK) – 7/10 [Rewatch]
The Leopard Man (Jacques Tourneur, 1943/USA) – 6/10
Ninja Scroll (Yoshiaki Kawajiri, 1993/Japan) – 6/10 [Rewatch]
Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt (Paul A. Kaufman, 2003/USA) – 3/10
Chatroom (Hideo Nakata, 2010/UK) – 4/10
The Body Snatcher (Robert Wise, 1945/USA) – 6/10
Womb Raider (Randolph Scott, 2003/USA) – 1/10
The Boxer’s Omen (Chih-Hung Kwei, 1983/Hong Kong) – 7/10
Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman, 1957/Sweden) – 10/10 [Rewatch]
Revolution (Hugh Hudson, 1985/Norway-UK) – 4/10
The New Adventures of Ocean Girl [‘A Common Bond’, ‘The Quest Begins’ & ‘Neri Has The Power’] (Colin South, 2000–2001/Australia) [Music Bank 2003 DVD Compilation Release] – 2/10
California Crisis: Gun Salvo (Mizuho Nishikubo, 1986/Japan) – 6/10
Apocalypse Zero (Toshihiro Hirano, 1996/Japan) – 6/10
Countess Dracula (Peter Sasdy, 1971/UK) – 3/10 [Rewatch]
The Hitch-Hiker (Ida Lupino, 1953/USA) – 7/10
The Ring (Alfred Hitchcock, 1927/UK) – 6/10
On Deadly Ground (Steven Seagal, 1994/USA) – 4/10 [Rewatch]
Tropic Thunder (Ben Stiller, 2008Germany-USA-UK) – 8/10
Stage Fright (Michele Soavi, 1987/Italy) – 6/10 [Rewatch]
Obsession (Brian De Palma, 1976/USA) – 8/10
Serial Experiments Lain (Ryutaro Nakamura, 1998/Japan) – 5/10
The Leopard Man (Jacques Tourneur, 1943/USA) – 5/10 [Rewatch]
Zanjeer (Prakash Mehra, 1973/India) – 6/10
Passport To Pimlico (Henry Cornelius, 1949/UK) – 8/10
Where the Wild Things Are (Spike Jonze, 2009/Australia-Germany-USA) – 8/10
Eros Plus Massacre (Yoshishige Yoshida, 1969/Japan) – 3/10
Night Moves (Arthur Penn, 1975/USA) – 5/10
Pikachu’s Vacation (Kunihiko Yuyama, 1998/Japan) – 5/10 [Rewatch]
Pokemon: The First Movie – Mewtwo Strikes Back (Michael Haigney and Kunihiko Yuyama, 1998/Japan-USA) – 4/10 [Rewatch]
Three Times (Hsiao-hsien Hou, 2005/France-Taiwan) – 3/10 [Rewatch]
Asylum Erotica aka. Slaughter Hotel aka La bestia uccide a sangue freddo (Fernando Di Leo, 1971/Italy) – 2/10

Best Film of the Month – Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Sergei Parajanov, 1964/Soviet Union) – 10/10 [Rewatch]
Biggest Surprise of the Month – O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, 2000/France-UK-USA) – 10/10 [Rewatch]
Discovery of the Month – The Bigamist (Ida Lupino, 1953/USA) – 8/10/The Hitch-Hiker (Ida Lupino, 1953/USA) – 7/10
Biggest Change of Opinion – O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, 2000/France-UK-USA) – 10/10 [Rewatch]
Biggest Disappointment of the Month – Serial Experiments Lain (Ryutaro Nakamura, 1998/Japan) – 5/10
Guilty Pleasure of the Month – Nightmares Come at Night (Jesus Franco, 1970/Liechtenstein) – 6/10
The Para-Bizarre Moment of the Month – ‘The Birthing’ from The Boxer’s Omen (Chih-Hung Kwei, 1983/Hong Kong) – 7/10
Worst Film of the Month – Running Scared (Wayne Kramer, 2006/Germany-USA) – 1/10/Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (William Beaudine, 1966/USA) – 1/10
The Steven Seagal Award For Best Worst Scene of January 2012 – Buckley’s transformation in Maniac (Dwain Esper, 1934/USA) – 6/10

61 Works Watched In January
22 Rewatched Works
39 New Works Seen

====
Films Seen In February 2012

Lights in the Dusk (Aki Kaurismäki, 2006/Finland-France-Germany) – 10/10
Pikachu’s Rescue Adventure (Kunihiko Yuyama & Michael Haigney, 2000/Japan) – 6/10 [Rewatch]
Pokémon: The Movie 2000 (Kunihiko Yuyama & Michael Haigney, 1999/Japan-USA) – 6/10 [Rewatch]
Magical Witch Punie-chan (Tsutomu Mizushima, 2006-2007/Japan) – 6/10
Magical Witch Punie-chan Omake (Japan) – 5/10
The Neon Bible (Terence Davies, 1995/UK) – 6/10 [Rewatch]
Chicken Park (Jerry Calà, 1996/Italy) – 2/10
Megmilk – I Like Milk a.k.a. Human Cows (2004-2005/Japan) – 6/10
Parade of the Award Nominees (1932/USA) – 6/10
Speed (Jan de Bont, 1994/USA) – 5/10 [Rewatch]
Reign of Fire (Rob Bowman, 2002/Ireland-UK-USA) – 4/10 [Rewatch]
Visual Training (Frans Zwartjes, 1969/Netherlands) – 5/10
CinemaXX porno cinemas – Boom Boom Boom (2001/Germany) – 6/10
The Big Combo (Joseph H. Lewis, 1955/USA) – 6/10 [Rewatch]
My Blueberry Nights (Wong Kar-Wai, 2008/China-France-Hong Kong) – 7/10 [Rewatch]
35 Shots of Rum aka. 35 rhums (Claire Denis, 2008/France-Germany) – 6/10
The Force Within (Richard E. Brooks, 1993/USA) – 4/10
So Is This (Michael Snow, 1983/Canada) – 8/10
Death Tunnel (Philip Adrian Booth, 2005/USA) – 1/10
The Prisoner of Shark Island (John Ford, 1936/USA) – 7/10
A Portrait of Ga (Margaret Tait, 1955/UK) – 6/10
Stryker (Cirio H. Santiago, 1983/Philippines) – 4/10
City of God (Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, 2003/Brazil-France) – 6/10 [Rewatch]
Lust For Gold (Dan Pita & Mircea Veroiu, 1974/Romania) – 9/10
The Boyfriend (Ken Russell, 1971/UK-USA) – 6/10
Small Fry (Angus MacLane, 2011/USA) – 6/10
The Muppets (James Bobin, 2011/USA) – 6/10
Hard Hunted (Andy Sidaris, 1992/USA) – 3/10
Crocodile (Tobe Hooper, 2000/USA) – 4/10 [Rewatch]
Highlander: The Search for Vengeance (Yoshiaki Kawajiri, 2007/USA) – 4/10
Happy End (Oldrich Lipský, 1967/Czechoslovakia) – 7/10
Blind Chance (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1981/Poland) – 4/10
Workshop Exercises (Marcel Lozinski, 1987/Poland) – 5/10
The Runner aka. Davandeh (Amir Naderi, 1985/Iran) – 9/10
Suddenly, Last Summer (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1959/USA) – 6/10
The Isle (Ki-duk Kim, 2000/South Korea) – 4/10 [Rewatch]
Ararat (Atom Egoyan, 2002/Canada-France) – 7/10
A.P.E.X. (Phillip J. Roth, 1994/USA) – 2/10
A Thousand Months (Faouzi Bensaïdi, 2003/Belgium-France-Germany-Morocco) – 6/10
Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth (Anthony Hickox, 1992/Canada-USA) – 3/10
Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood, 1992/USA) – 8/10 [Rewatch]
Forbidden Door (Joko Anwar, 2009/Indonesia) – 3/10
2012 Doomsday (Nick Everhart, 2008/USA) – 2/10
Obsession (Edward Dmytryk, 1949/UK) – 7/10
Deadly Prey (David A. Prior, 1987/USA) – 5/10
Guerilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst (Robert Stone, 2004/USA) – 6/10
Tropical Fish aka. Re dai yu (Chen Yu-hsun, 1995/Taiwan) – 7/10
TC 2000 (T.J. Scott, 1993/USA) – 6/10 [Rewatch]
House of Whipcord (Pete Walker, 1974/UK) – 3/10
The Clay Bird (Tareque Masud, 2002/Bangladesh) – 7/10
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Milos Forman, 1975/USA) – 9/10 [Rewatch]
Revenant aka. Modern Vampires (Richard Elfman, 1998/USA) – 4/10
Mad Max (George Miller, 1979/Australia) – 3/10
Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky, 2000/France-Germany-Hungary-Italy) – 10/10 [Rewatch]
Killer Fish (Antonio Margheriti, 1979/Brazil-Italy-UK-USA) – 3/10
Salomè (Carmelo Bene, 1972/Italy) – 4/10
The Dream of a Ridiculous Man aka. Son smeshnogo cheloveka (Aleksandr Petrov, 1992/Russia) – 9/10
Sixpenny Telegram (Donald Taylor, 1935/UK) – 6/10 [Rewatch]
A Colour Box (Len Lye, 1935/UK) – 8/10 [Rewatch]
Save the Green Planet (Joon-Hwan Jang, 2003/South Korea) – 4/10 [Rewatch]
The Way You Wanted Me aka. Sellaisena kuin sinä minut halusit (Teuvo Tulio, 1944/Finland) – 5/10
The Wiz (Sidney Lumet, 1978/USA) – 5/10 [Rewatch]
The Love of Books: A Sarajevo Story (Sam Hobkinson, 2011/Qatar-UK) – 4/10
Tales That Will Tear Your Heart (Dir. Wes Craven, 1976/Short from Unfinished Anthology Film/USA) – Not Rated
Three Kings (David O. Russell, 1999/Australia-USA) – 10/10 [Rewatch]
Village People Radio Show (Amir Muhammad, 2007/Malaysia) – 4/10
The Woman in Black (James Watkins, 2012/Canada-Sweden- UK) – 4/10
Gertrud (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1964/Denmark) – 10/10

Best Film of the Month – Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky, 2000/France-Germany-Hungary-Italy) – 10/10 [Rewatch]/Gertrud (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1964/Denmark) – 10/10
Biggest Surprise of the Month – The Runner aka. Davandeh (Amir Naderi, 1985/Iran) – 9/10
Discovery of the Month – Lust For Gold (Dan Pita & Mircea Veroiu, 1974/Romania) – 9/10/The Runner aka. Davandeh (Amir Naderi, 1985/Iran) – 9/10
Biggest Change of Opinion – My Blueberry Nights (Wong Kar-Wai, 2008/China-France-Hong Kong) – 7/10 [Rewatch]
Biggest Disappointment of the Month – Forbidden Door (Joko Anwar, 2009/Indonesia) – 3/10
Guilty Pleasure of the Month – Magical Witch Punie-chan (Tsutomu Mizushima, 2006-2007/Japan) – 6/10
The Para-Bizarre Moment of the Month – ‘Hand Job’ from Chicken Park (Jerry Calà, 1996/Italy) – 2/10
Worst Film of the Month – Death Tunnel (Philip Adrian Booth, 2005/USA) – 1/10
The Steven Seagal Award For Best Worst Scene of February 2012 – The Severed Arm Battering from Deadly Prey (David A. Prior, 1987/USA) – 5/10

Thank you RISSELADA for the World Film Cup this year.

68 Works Watched In January
19 Rewatched Works
49 New Works Seen

====
Films Seen In March 2012

The Funhouse (Tobe Hooper, 1981/USA) – 7/10
Class of Nuke ‘Em High (Richard W. Haines and Lloyd Kaufman, 1986/USA) – 4/10
The Needle aka. Igla (Rashid Nugmanov, 1988/Soviet Union) – 3/10
The Geek [The 15 Minute ’Soft’ Version] (1971/USA) – 5/10
Shotgun (Addison Randall, 1989/USA) – 6/10
Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (Joe Lynch, 2007/USA) – 5/10
Rubber Johnny (Chris Cunningham, 2005/UK) – 8/10 [Rewatch]
White Mountains (Melis Ubukeyev, 1964/Kyrgyzstan) – 4/10
Public Housing (Frederick Wiseman, 1997/USA) – 8/10
I Miss Sonia Henie (Karpo Acimovic-Godina, Tinto Brass, Mladomir ‘Purisa’ Djordjevic, Miloš Forman, Buck Henry, Dušan Makavejev, Paul Morrissey and Frederick Wiseman, 1971/Yugoslavia) – 6/10
Hellraiser: Bloodline (Alan Smithee (aka. Kevin Yagher), 1996/USA) – 3/10
The Shovel (Alun Falconer, 1953/UK) – 6/10
Blind Date (Nico Mastorakis, 1984/Greece-USA) – 7/10
The Ring (Alfred Hitchcock, 1927/UK) – 5/10 [Rewatch]
Lemming (Dominik Moll, 2005/France) – 4/10
Nightmare Alley (Edmund Goulding, 1947/USA) – 6/10
Knuckle (Ian Palmer, 2011/Ireland-UK) – 6/10
Historias extraordinarias (Mariano Llinás, 2008/Argentina) – 10/10
Deep End (Jerzy Skolimowski, 1971/UK-West Germany) – 8/10
Rage (Joseph Merhi, 1996/USA) – 4/10
Interrupted Lover (1896/USA) – 5/10
The Iron Lady (Phyllida Lloyd, 2011/France-UK) – 6/10
The Black Gestapo (Lee Frost, 1975/USA) – 4/10
Puissance de la parole (Jean-Luc Godard, 1988/France) – 6/10
Frightmare (Pete Walker, 1974/UK) – 3/10
The Fall (Peter Whitehead, 1969/UK) – 7/10
Monkey Melodies (Burt Gillett, 1930/USA) – 6/10
Fermat’s Last Theorem (Simon Singh, 1997/UK) – 6/10
The Blood of a Poet (Jean Cocteau, 1930/France) – 7/10
Forest of Fear aka. Toxic Zombies (Charles McCrann, 1980/USA) – 2/10
The Sorcerers (Michael Reeves, 1967/UK) – 4/10
Fred: The Movie (Clay Weiner, 2010/USA) – 2/10
Hawk the Slayer (Terry Marcel, 1980/UK) – 6/10
Fragments of an Alms-Film (João César Monteiro, 1972/Portugal) – 4/10
John Carter (Andrew Stanton, 2012/USA) – 6/10
Penitentiary (Jamaa Fanaka, 1979/USA) – 7/10
Penitentiary II (Jamaa Fanaka, 1982/USA) – 6/10
Touki Bouki aka. Journey of the Hyena (Djibril Diop Mambéty, 1973/Senegal) – 4/10
Underwater Love (Shinji Imaoka, 2011/Germany-Japan) – 7/10
Vampire Wars (Kazuhisa Takenôchi, 1990/Japan) – 3/10
First Squad – The Moment of Truth [International/UK Cut] (Yoshiharu Ashino, Aljosha Klimov and Misha Shprits, 2009/Canada-Japan-Russia) – 5/10
Le vampire (Jean Painleve, 1945/France) – 7/10
99 Women (Jesus Franco, 1969/Italy-Liechtenstein-Spain-UK-West Germany) – 2/10
Mother Joan of Angels aka. Matka Joanna od aniolów (Jerzy Kawalerowicz, 1961/Poland) – 10/10
The Temptation of St. Tony aka. Püha Tõnu kiusamine (Veiko Õunpuu, 2009/Estonia-Finland-Sweden) – 5/10
Beyond Re-Animator (Brian Yuzna, 2003/Spain) – 6/10
A View to a Kill (John Glen, 1985/UK-USA) – 4/10
The Amazing Transparent Man (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1960/USA) – 5/10
Terrorism Considered As One Of The Fine Arts (Peter Whitehead, 2009/Austria-UK) – 2/10
American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (Sam Firstenberg, 1987/USA) – 6/10
American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt (Cedric Sundstrom, 1989/Canada-South Africa-USA) – 4/10
The Monkey’s Mask (Samantha Lang, 2000Australia-Canada-France-Italy-Japan) – 4/10
The Pumpkin Eater (Jack Clayton, 1964/UK) – 10/10
Forbidden Zone (Richard Elfman, 1982/USA) – 9/10
American Ninja (Sam Firstenberg, 1985/USA) – 6/10 [Rewatch]
Malibu Express (Andy Sidaris, 1985/USA) – 6/10
Hard Ticket To Hawaii (Andy Sidaris, 1987/USA) – 7/10
Neon Genesis Evangelion (Hideaki Anno, 1995-1996/Japan) – 4/10 [Series]
Naked Island (Kaneto Shindô, 1960/Japan) – 10/10
Deadgirl (Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Harel, 2008/USA) – 4/10
Gotta Be You [By One Direction] (2011) – 4/10
Without You (Feat. Usher) [By David Guetta & Usher] (2011/) – 6/10
Un Chant d’amour aka. A Song of Love (Jean Genet, 1950/France) – 10/10 [Rewatch]
The Testament of Orpheus (Jean Cocteau, 1960/France) – 9/10
The Shovel (Alun Falconer, 1953/UK) – 7/10 [Rewatch]
Savage Beach (Andy Sidaris, 1989/USA) – 5/10
Hawk the Slayer (Terry Marcel, 1980/UK) – 6/10 [Rewatch]
Paradise Now (Hany Abu-Assad, 2005/France-Germany-Israel-Netherlands-Occupied Palestinian Territory) – 5/10
Picasso Trigger (Andy Sidaris, 1988/USA) – 4/10
Otto; or Up with Dead People (Bruce La Bruce, 2008/Canada-Germany) – 2/10
To Hell With The Devil aka. Mo deng tian shi (John Woo, 1981/Hong Kong) – 7/10
Golgo 13: Queen Bee (Osamu Dezaki, 1998/Japan) – 5/10
Godmonster of Indian Flats (Fredric Hobbs, 1973/USA) – 4/10
Sisters (Brian De Palma, 1973/USA) – 6/10
The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969/USA) – 10/10 [Rewatch]
The Driller Killer (Abel Ferrara, 1979/USA) – 4/10 [Rewatch]
Project A-ko (Katsuhiko Nishijima, 1986/Japan) – 6/10 [Rewatch]

Best Film of the Month – Un Chant d’amour aka. A Song of Love (Jean Genet, 1950/France) – 10/10 [Rewatch]/Mother Joan of Angels aka. Matka Joanna od aniolów (Jerzy Kawalerowicz, 1961/Poland) – 10/10
Biggest Surprise of the Month – Forbidden Zone (Richard Elfman, 1982/USA) – 9/10/Historias extraordinarias (Mariano Llinás, 2008/Argentina) – 10/10
Discovery of the Month – Naked Island (Kaneto Shindô, 1960/Japan) – 10/10
Biggest Change of Opinion – N/A
Biggest Disappointment of the Month – Neon Genesis Evangelion (Hideaki Anno, 1995-1996/Japan) – 4/10 [Series]
Guilty Pleasure of the Month – Hard Ticket To Hawaii (Andy Sidaris, 1987/USA) – 7/10
The Para-Bizarre Moment of the Month – The Videogame Segment from To Hell With The Devil aka. Mo deng tian shi (John Woo, 1981/Hong Kong) – 7/10
Worst Film of the Month – 99 Women (Jesus Franco, 1969/Italy-Liechtenstein-Spain-UK-West Germany) – 2/10
The Steven Seagal Award For Best Worst Scene of March 2012 – The Skateboard Assassination from Hard Ticket To Hawaii (Andy Sidaris, 1987/USA) – 7/10

77 Works Watched In January
10 Rewatched Works
68 New Works Seen
-————-
Films Seen In April 2012

Africa, I Will Fleece You aka. Afrique, je te plumerai (Jean-Marie Téno, 1993Cameroon-France-Germany) – 6/10
Excalibur (John Boorman, 1981/UK-USA) – 8/10 [Rewatch]
Guns (Andy Sidaris, 1990/USA) – 4/10
The Town (Ben Affleck, 2010/USA) – 4/10
RoboCop (Paul Verhoeven, 1987/USA) – 7/10 [Rewatch]
Honeymoon In Vegas (Andrew Bergman, 1992/USA) – 4/10
Cosmos Pink Shock (Keisuke Matsumoto and Yasuo Hasegawa, 1986/Japan) – 6/10
Hellzapoppin’ (H.C. Potter, 1941/USA) – 10/10
Do or Die (Andy Sidaris, 1991/USA) – 3/10
Repertory (Ian Breakwell, 1973/UK) – 7/10
Excerpts from the Diary (Ian Breakwell, 1975/UK) – 7/10
The News aka. In The News (Ian Breakwell, 1980/UK) – 7/10
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Charles Kent & J. Stuart Blackton, 1909/USA) – 5/10
The Sadist (James Landis, 1963/USA) – 4/10
The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius, 2011/Belgium-France) – 4/10
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920/Germany) – 10/10 [Rewatch]
Smoke (Wayne Wang, 1995/Germany-Japan-USA) – 5/10
Prom Night (Paul Lynch, 1980/Canada) – 4/10
Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (Bruce Pittman, 1987/Canada) – 5/10
The Apartment (Billy Wilder, 1960/USA) – 10/10 [Rewatch]
Ian Breakwell’s Continuous Diary: Growth (Ian Breakwell, 1984/UK) – 7/10
Ian Breakwell’s Continuous Diary: The Walking Man (Ian Breakwell, 1984/UK) – 7/10
Auditorium (Ian Breakwell and Rob Geesin, 1994/UK) – 9/10
Variety (Ian Breakwell, 2001/UK) – 7/10
A Buddhist Ascetic Mandara (Im Kwon-taek, 1981/South Korea) – 8/10
Grave Danger Part 1 & 2 [CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Series 5 Episodes 24 & 25] (Quentin Tarantino, 2005/USA) – 6/10 [Rewatch] [TV Episodes]
Lethal Panther aka. Deadly China Dolls (Godfrey Ho, 1990/Hong Kong-Taiwan) – 5/10 [Rewatch]
Revenge of the Zombies (Steve Sekely, 1943/USA) – 6/10
Climates (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2006/France-Turkey) – 6/10
Boy (Nagisa Oshima, 1969/Japan) – 8/10
The Descendants (Alexander Payne, 2011/USA) – 3/10
Suicide Club (Sion Sono, 2002/Japan) – 7/10
Rabbit Seasoning (Chuck Jones, 1952/USA) – 8/10 [Rewatch]
Bully for Bugs (Chuck Jones, 1953/USA) – 8/10 [Rewatch]
Ballot Box Bunny (Friz Freleng, 1951/USA) – 8/10 [Rewatch]
Baseball Bugs (Friz Freleng, 1946/USA) – 8/10 [Rewatch]
High Diving Hare (Friz Freleng, 1949/USA) – 7/10 [Rewatch]
Big House Bunny (Friz Freleng, 1950/USA) – 7/10 [Rewatch]
Lethal Panther 2 (Phillip Ko, 1993/Hong Kong-Philippines) – 6/10 [Rewatch]
Snake In The Eagle’s Shadow (Yuen Woo-ping, 1978/Hong Kong) – 7/10
Two Rode Together (John Ford, 1961/USA) – 5/10 [Rewatch]
Araya (Margot Benacerraf, 1959/France-Venezuela) – 5/10
The Horseman (Steven Kastrissios, 2008/Australia) – 4/10
The Terror (Roger Corman, Francis Ford Coppola, Monte Hellman, Jack Hill & Jack Nicholson, 1963/USA) – 4/10
13 Assassins (Takashi Miike, 2010/Japan-UK) – 5/10 [Rewatch]
Six Shooter (Martin McDonagh, 2004/Ireland-UK) – 6/10
Felix In Exile (William Kentridge, 1994/South Africa) – 7/10
Book Revue (Robert Clampett, 1946/USA) – 10/10 [Rewatch]
Smash Cut (Lee Demarbre, 2009/Canada) – 2/10
Arena (Jonah Loop, 2011/USA) – 4/10
Tapeheads (Bill Fishman, 1988/USA) – 6/10
Bloody Birthday (Ed Hunt, 1981/USA) – 4/10
Illusion Travels By Streetcar (Luis Bunuel, 1954/Mexico) – 8/10
Amelia and the Angel (Ken Russell, 1957/UK) – 6/10
The Devils (Ken Russell, 1971/UK) – 10/10 [Rewatch]
Les Vampires (Louis Feuillade, 1915/France) – 6/10
The Roman Orgy (Louis Feuillade, 1911/France) – 6/10
Awakening of the Artist (Louis Feuillade, 1916/France) – 6/10
The Bous-Bous-Mie (Louis Feuillade, 1909/France) – 6/10
The Legend of the Spinner (Louis Feuillade, 1908/France) – 5/10
A Very Fine Lady (Louis Feuillade, 1908/France) – 6/10
Tinpis Run (Pengau Nengo, 1991/Belgium-France-Papua New Guinea-UK) – 7/10
Melancholia (Lars von Trier, 2011/Denmark-France-Germany-Sweden) – 9/10
Return of the Living Dead III (Brian Yuzna, 1993/USA) – 3/10
Kiki’s Delivery Service (Hayao Miyazaki, 1989/Japan) – 9/10
Fist of Unicorn (Ti Tang, 1973/Hong Kong) – 4/10
The Best of Sexy Urban Legends (Kelley Cauthen and Michael Goi, 2002/USA) – 3/10
Space Adventure Cobra (Osamu Dezaki, 1982/Japan) – 7/10 [Rewatch]
Film as a Subversive Art: Amos Vogel and Cinema 16 (Paul Cronin, 2004/UK) – 6/10
Semiotics of the Kitchen (Martha Roster, 1975/USA) – 6/10
Accident (Eduardo Kac, 1994) – 6/10
Show Me Love (Lukas Moodyson, 1998/Denmark-Sweden) – 8/10
Palms (Artur Aristakisyan, 1993/Russia) – 10/10
A Night To Dismember (Doris Wishman, 1983/USA) – 6/10
Deja vu (Tony Scott, 2006/UK-USA) – 5/10
Berlin Express (Jacques Tourneur, 1948/USA) – 6/10

Best Film of the Month – Palms (Artur Aristakisyan, 1993/Russia) – 10/10/The Devils (Ken Russell, 1971/UK) – 10/10
Biggest Surprise of the Month – Illusion Travels By Streetcar (Luis Bunuel, 1954/Mexico) – 8/10
Discovery of the Month – Palms (Artur Aristakisyan, 1993/Russia) – 10/10
Biggest Change of Opinion – N/A
Biggest Disappointment of the Month – Araya (Margot Benacerraf, 1959/France-Venezuela) – 5/10
Guilty Pleasure of the Month – Lethal Panther 2 (Phillip Ko, 1993/Hong Kong-Philippines) – 6/10
The Para-Bizarre Moment of the Month – The One-Two Punch of 40s Lunacy from ‘Book Revue’ (Robert Clampett, 1946/USA) – 10/10 and ‘Hellzapoppin’’ (H.C. Potter, 1941/USA) – 10/10
Worst Film of the Month – Smash Cut (Lee Demarbre, 2009/Canada) – 2/10
The Steven Seagal Award For Best Worst Scene of April 2012 – The Abrupt Dream Sequence the Hospital (That Still Baffles Me) from Lethal Panther 2 (Phillip Ko, 1993/Hong Kong-Philippines) – 6/10

76 Works Watched In April
18 Rewatched Works
58 New Works Seen

Total Films Seen = 282
==
Reviews of Films Not On MUBI/In More Detail

January 2012

California Crisis: Gun Salvo (Mizuho Nishikubo, 1986/Japan) – During the 1980s and the Japanese economic boom, the amount of short animated pieces that were experimental or unconventional were high, most of them the kind that would never be made in the decades after the economic bubble burst. California Crisis is not experimental as a story – it’s a man and a girl running from the law with an alien artefact, and that’s it – but in terms of the animation, its looks completely unique, the inspiration from American pop art and graphic design obvious with the emphasis on the abstract laying and shadows on the characters designs. A pure burst of American culture in a 40 or so minute Japanese animation, the story is slight and ends abruptly, but is sticks out immensely. And the end theme has been stuck in my head since, irritatingly unavailable anywhere for me to buy. – 6/10

Apocalypse Zero (Toshihiro Hirano, 1996/Japan) – Is it an unnecessary violent and perverse piece of trash anime about a generic hero with bio armour causing grotesque monsters to explode, or is it a legitimate parody of these sorts of anime with no regard for good taste? My desensitisation to these sorts of films softened the blow slightly, but its still dumbfounding in how far it goes. Even the choice of character designs, from punks with penises for tongues to the girl with bandages over most of her head and face that, despite the post-apocalyptic setting, still puzzles and fascinates me in her existence. An utter tastelessness work – look at images online if you dare – that is indefensible, but still something that awes. – 6/10

February 2012

Magical Witch Punie-chan (Dir. Tsutomu Mizushima, 2006-2007/Japan) – 6/10
Magical Witch Punie-chan Omake (Japan) – 5/10
Even with only eight episodes, 12 minutes or less long each, and four extra parts at a minute each, this cannot sustain its premise – a princess from a magical kingdom comes to Earth on a great trial, only to show her cute innocent side hides a vicious, bloodthirsty one – with its tone. The main source of humour is a blackened one where something stereotypically cute – the magical girl heroine, her animal mascot – is flipped into something violent and serious, the titular Punie-chan switching her high voice for a one of a hardened warrior while she breaks the limbs of anyone in her way with submission moves straight from professional wrestling. The whole work is ramshackle – Vietnam movies are parodied together within the same minute of one scene, others reference trains in a way that could only have come to fruition if the concept for the anime was devised by a wrestling obsessed lunatic and a railway trainspotter – and yet there is a charm to it even if within the main OVAs the last few parts are less good jokes than eye rolling ones. It’s a testament to the first two episodes, the utter bafflement at its perverse sense of humour and bank of references (where else but here does the magical girl main character’s catchphrase reference a type of Russian service pistol?), and its erratic charm that it can justify a rating as high as 6/10. Maybe there can be another, more consistent shot with this idea and Punie-chan will be breaking oppotents legs in figure-4 leglocks in a even more sick humoured and better made animated gem.

Chicken Park (Jerry Calà, 1996/Italy) – Chicken Park goes beyond being a terrible parody film into something that mangles your brain. It manages to have one or two good fourth wall breaking jokes, but underneath continuous scenes of director-actor Calà’s saggy face, random film references from 1993, and homophobic jokes is something that goes beyond any sense of taste or logic and is frankly unreviewable. After a certain infamous scene with actress Rossy de Palma, the film will be scarred into your mind even if everything before that sequence had no effect. This film really shows just how perverse and wrong cinema can get even in such an innocuous sub-genre. -2/10

Megmilk – I Like Milk a.k.a. Human Cows (2004-2005/Japan) – Look on YouTube, but bear in mind it’s not safe for work. I could make a crude joke about this, but to be honest, I wonder if somewhere in the world, somewhere, someone with a milk fetish will love this advert. – 6/10

The Force Within (Richard E. Brooks, 1993/USA) – The worst made film can still be redeemable if your viewing feels like experiencing a strange dream, the mistakes in areas such as editing and acting accidentally creating something that undermines your perceptions of it in interesting ways, something that this film does in the first half. After a while its existence, possibly an ego project for actor Stuart Steel based on Scarface, outstays its welcome, not helped by the desired complex morals of Steel being mangled and the film not being well put together, with more time spent on padding (like a foul mouthed ventriloquist’s routines in the nightclub scenes) than story. – 4/10

Stryker (Cirio H. Santiago, 1983/Philippines) – Mixing Mad Max, Star Wars, hot-pant wearing Amazon-nymph archers from a fantasy film, gimps and a surprisingly big vehicle budget which allows them to have tanks and multiples cars, this post-apocalypse genre film should be praised for taking these random aspects and creating a cohesive and distinct world from them. Sadly however the creators of the film were content to coast in terms of quality for every other aspect, leaving a film with a distinct veneer but completely tedious to sit through in the centre of it (ie. boring as sin). – 4/10

City of God (Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, 2003/Brazil-France) – A masterpiece or trite sensationalism of a culture over-intoxicated with flashy cinematic techniques and violence rather than a heartfelt message? This problem undermines what I once thought was a great film and ended up dogging Meirelles’ later work. Even if I was to praise it for the technical mastery, the debt to Martin Scorsese is writ so large it consumes any sense of Meirelles making a film through his own vision but pretending to have the eyes of another. – 6/10

Small Fry (Angus MacLane, 2011/USA) – It is far too flimsy to be a memorable short, but the whole section about the discarded fast food meal toys, aside from the bizarre creations, did suggest for me how badly I would like a fictional film which took these types of obscure toys – from long forgotten fads to those that stand out even more now if one were to find them at a car boot sale – and create a story which uses their images to emphasise well trodden narrative and character tropes, the kind that came from fairy tales and literature and went into the adventure, superhero and fantasy genres. For some reason when thinking about this review I couldn’t help but think of the Sega Saturn game Clockwork Knight I used to play in my childhood which, including a YouTube video of it at the end of this sentence, encapsulates the kind of thing I am thinking about – Clockwork Knight . A film would have to have more to it but – set in a world away from human interaction where the castles are made from blocks and the character can be everything from Barbie dolls to rip-offs of the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles – it has the establishing idea I wish existed in a narrative story. – 6/10

Hard Hunted (Andy Sidaris, 1992/USA) – With the big exception that the femininity being glamorised here is the heavily Playboy , silicone enhanced one, it’s difficult to label this as objectifying of women for its titillation because of how naive and innocent it feels. It’s also complete arbitrary throughout, inconsistent as a trashy action film and even random with its nudity, attempting to live up to what trashy entertainment should be in framework but pulseless in the middle, lacking the drive and energy that can make even the most haphazardly made film better than its parts. – 3/10

Crocodile (Tobe Hooper, 2000/USA) [Rewatch] – Let’s ignore how Tobe Hooper went from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to this – although this isn’t the first time he’s made a film about a giant, man-eating crocodile – because the biggest problem is that it’s like many of the horror films made after Scream up to the mid-2000s before the extremer work (ie. ‘Torture Porn’) started to be made. Like the films of the 1980s, its young adolescents get high and drunk but paradoxically it’s incredibly modest in thought, sexually chaste despite references and with a blandness emphasised by the bad ‘alternative’ rock soundtrack from the era (anyone who thinks a band like The Offspring are targets of ridicule haven’t listened to music like in this). Bar an eco-message it encapsulates the middle-of-the-road mentality of certain horror films from this period I grew up in. – 4/10

Highlander: The Search for Vengeance (Yoshiaki Kawajiri, 2007/Japan) – First, on a plot standpoint, the vengeance plot is undermined by how ineffectual the main hero is; having one’s spiritual guide/pest openly asking you if you like getting your head kicked in, like in this, doesn’t help in providing the hero the masculine power certain genre films, animated or otherwise, peddle and have to sustain themselves on (somewhat the same for the original Highlander film too). The bigger problem is that for its elaborate plot spanning hundreds of years, it’s gapingly empty aside from a rudimentary plot structure. Maybe it’s cruel to jump to this conclusion, but having a well regarded (and infamous) anime director from the last decades and numerous anime studios being dictated by an entirely American production may have been a bad idea in the beginning, especially when said director known for violent and eroticised work like Ninja Scroll seems to have been straightjacketed from his transgressive tendencies and flights of fantasy by the property and the script. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000) from the same director, and a US-Japanese co-production, worked but that was probably because he was allowed to go his own way with a Japanese property than trying to crowbar stuff like ‘Quickenings’ into a generic post-apocalyptic world. – 4/10

The Isle (Ki-duk Kim, 2000/South Korea) – From the Ki-duk films I’ve seen, it feels as if his work reached its peak between 2003 and 2005, the usually confrontational portrayals of human interaction meeting with a deep emotion core that made even the most extreme scenes in his work meaningful. This does not succeed at all. Ki-duk’s eye for visuals was there but the main story of a dysfunctional relationship between two people, if it was made later in his career, would be been a poor rehash of what he explored in 3-Iron, the characterisation flimsy and its scenes of cruelty against the slow, minimalist pace becoming empty as a result. Its strange this is may be his most well known film because it feels far too messy in tone and lacking in cohesion in comparison with the director’s best work. – 4/10

Ararat (Atom Egoyan, 2002/Canada-France) – A deeply unsettling and messy work. Egoyan dangerously veers to vulgar moralising, regardless of where one stands on the Armenian Genocide, which would merely turn such a tragic and complicated issue into empty images of massacre, images that would eventually be forgotten by viewers desensitised to these sorts of images, to the point it has no connect to real history at all. Yet it becomes clear that Egoyan’s film is more than this, a film itself struggling with horrified confusion of how such an event could happen and the anxiety someone of Armenian descent in the modern day will feel trying to move on from such an event, worsened by the issue of denial that engulfs the film as well. It’s not perfect, but that the director tried with this much sincerity and honesty is truly admirable. – 7/10

A.P.E.X. (Phillip J. Roth, 1994/USA) – Did the world really need sci-fi films like this so bad you wonder, as you type your review on a website like I am, why they couldn’t have used the money to benefit something of worth? As tedious as it is redundant, there is no sense of drive in trying to make a good film but to merely pad out 90 minutes for commerce. Even the acronym – which stands for Advanced Prototype Exploration Unit – is lazy. According to IMDB, this was screened on South Korean cinema screens in 1994 – after 18 years someone in the West needs to apologise to the country for that. – 2/10

A Thousand Months (Faouzi Bensaïdi, 2003/Belgium-France-Germany-Morocco) – Credit to the director Bensaïdi for his skill as a visual director and for crafting vivid moments within the narrative that stand out. As almost a string of vignettes that connect together as a wider story however it cannot sustain itself for its length, meandering at points when it is in dire need of being tightened in tone and ideas. By the end there is no sense that there is enough depth to it because each strand of it is unbalanced to each other and doesn’t completely link together. – 6/10

Forbidden Door (Joko Anwar, 2009/Indonesia) – Lynch meets the aesthetics of Park-Chan Wook meets A Bucket of Blood and probably quite a few other cinematic references, all of which leads to a film with style but never connects any of its parts into anything cohesive. Its twists and bloody violence never lead to anything original or engaging, culminating in the worst kind of final plot twist, one that should be barred from being used except if the director is going to be significantly different with it. It’s the kind of film the UK/USA distributor Tartan would release under their ‘Asian Extreme’ label, one that I would place in the immensely disappointing and forgettable pile. – 3/10

2012 Doomsday (Nick Everhart, 2008/USA) – A Christian end-of-the-world film masquerading as a rip-off of the Roland Emmerich film, which is not a bad thing since the Christian aspect is the best part and would have been worth seeing if the film was any good. Sadly it’s so poorly written and made that it becomes a travesty of the religion, exemplified by the annoyingly repeated conversations where characters believe in science and technology over faith, trying to tackle one of the biggest questions (the existence of evil) in its dogma with the same mentality as one asks for fries with their Big Mac or fried chicken in a fast food restaurant. It will be soon forgotten, or has already been forgotten by many, but as someone who has only scratched the surface of the religion’s culture and already found great works of art (Dante’s Inferno, William Blake’s poetry and paintings, even The Exorcist), it made me angry, the equivalent to defecating on God’s porch step and claiming it’s a sacrament to Him. It’s also tragic to think that, half-hearted in its message and feeling more like a cash-grab for the religious market as well, legitimately faithful Christians as well as film viewers will be tricked into paying for this too. That it didn’t end with the Second Coming of Christ too pissed me off even more. – 2/10

Obsession (Edward Dmytryk, 1949/UK) – A delightfully macabre tale of the ‘perfect murder’ whose tongue is usually close to its cheek, and reveals in its blackly humorous but serious tone rather than (thankfully) becoming a portentous thriller. Robert Newton nearly steals the film with the egotistical but charming charisma his embittered husband character possesses, but the rest of the cast including Phil Brown as the doomed lover (and Monty the dog) adds to the quality of the film. It’s not the best of its ilk but by the end credits you feel you’ve watched quality cinema. – 7/10

The Clay Bird (Tareque Masud, 2002/Bangladesh) – The Clay Bird’s biggest virtue is that, rejecting a confrontational and harsher tone, it actually tackles its issues of religion and Islamic fundamentalism with a far more astute view on the subject, a gentle film which avoids stereotypes and manages to suggest significantly more poignant takes on the subject than a blunter and possibly patronising (and Islamaphobic) take one would get from the conventions used in ‘mainstream’ Western cinema. It does not reach the heights of great cinema, but this is still an admirable work that deserves more interest, especially one where the issues are not pinned on one’s religious beliefs, but the more universal issue of how one acts to others as represented by the main father character. – 7/10

Revenant aka. Modern Vampires (Richard Elfman, 1998/USA) – For a bad taste horror comedy there seems to be a significant lack of laughs to be had. Apparently made for TV, which explains the stagnant sense of pace of the film, it was a movie built up for me as being completely tasteless and perverse but ends up being a slight, mediocre film with a complete lack of subversiveness to it. When it does have its moments, especially a group sex scene and its results (?!), it shows how twisted and brilliant it could have been, but having to sit through amateur scenes of unfunny jokes and redundant dialogue like countless other bad genre films is something that shouldn’t befall anyone. It may sound a silly point, but knowing that (Spoiler) Udo Kier gets killed off pretty early shows how this misses the point which such films – instead of going for the apex of the camp, the subversive, the imaginative or the ridiculous, this is another film that goes for lazy shortcuts or was prevented from ever reaching this at all, disregarding resources within itself that could have made it a cult classic and ending up forgotten by almost everyone. – 4/10

Mad Max (George Miller, 1979/Australia) – The background of Mad Max is something to admire and, considering the lack of safety regulations on the production, makes the car crashes even more brutal, but it is a terrible film. For a film famous for its car chases as well as pushing Mel Gibson into the limelight, most of its length is poor dramatic sequences, not help at all by the completely unthreatening and pathetic villains which deflate the tension a genre film like this needed to thrive on. There are lesser known Ozploitation films which are far more consistent as exploitation movies and better made, even the schlockier ones, in terms of pace. I can only hope The Road Warrior is the massive improvement on the prequel it is said to be. – 3/10

Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky, 2000/France-Germany-Hungary-Italy) – Within every continuous shot upon rewatching this film I saw a legitimate masterpiece, where every use of space, lighting etc. is used to place you in a world both in a dreamstate and a reality, and yet is economic and always has a meaning to it. It is Tarr’s most phantasmagoric film from what I’ve viewed but it could be as much an allegory of Hungary’s history behind the Iron Curtain and of a universal theme; like music, if the harmonies of human beings is broken, chaos is left, one where both anarchy and conservatism are on the same side of the coin and beauty (the whale) is left to rot. This is a leviathan amongst 21st century cinema. – 10/10

Save the Green Planet (Joon-Hwan Jang, 2003/South Korea) – A complete tonal mess which, while eyecatching, attempts to cram so much into it its fails to be good at anything. A lot of it is not that unique or as original as it first appears to be, and its switches between absurdism and serious drama causes it’s emotional core to be paper thin and questionable against its surreal and bloody moments. In light of other films from the Korea Wave of the 2000s, which succeeded much more so in melding different genres and moods together seamlessly, this pales in utter comparison despite the director’s admirable attempts. – 4/10

Village People Radio Show (Amir Muhammad, 2007/Malaysia) – The content within the film – the interviews and some of the shots of the village environments – was of interest, but the documentary is badly made, overlong even at 70 or so minutes, and poorly putting together the interview tracks with the images at times. The incorporation of a Thai radio melodrama could have worked, but it felt completely separate from everything else even if it was supposed to mirror the history talked about in the interviews, and the continuous sequences of audio and visual noise was irritating and redundant. Despite moments of insight it felt like a missed opportunity compromised by its production. – 4/10

March 2012

The Needle aka. Igla (Rashid Nugmanov, 1988/Soviet Union) – If the aimlessness wasn’t bad enough – despite its plot, it stumbles through it vaguely and never gets the courage to completely disregard it, becoming half-hearted on both counts – the streak of pretentious makes it worse. It is great to say I’ve seen a film from Kazakhstan, one which despite my issues was well shot and had good music, but in any language this is one of many films whose ‘hip’ veneer covers up an empty movie. – 3/10

Shotgun (Addison Randall, 1989/USA) – Bottom of the barrel action cinema shot on VHS from 1989 that deflates all the clichés of this cinema in one 90 or minute work. And yet, aside from the delight of its ridiculous lack of taste, driven by INCREDIBLY LOUD guitar riffs, I have to wonder if anyone took this seriously, enjoying themselves regardless of the arbitrary vigilante plot and squeezing out as much entertainment as they could for the viewer (especially the stunt work in the final sequences). If it’s true, they succeeded very well. – 6/10

Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (Joe Lynch, 2007/USA) – This sequel deserves credit – its far better than the first film, Henry Rollins was an inspired casting choice and the creators, clearly horror fans from what you see in the film, use the clichés of the genre to continually jar your expectations so no character is safe in the running time or what you expect of them. Aside from that, it’s either that it cannot pull itself fully from the generic structure and plot it has or I’m more of a fan of the less conventional and ‘abstract’ entries of horror cinema. – 5/10

Public Housing (Frederick Wiseman, 1997/USA) – With such a wide span to its subject, there isn’t complete cohesion of all the aspects even in its 200 running time, but unlike Meat (1976), all of them in this environment from the public to the public services interconnect into each other, showing a community that nobly fights against poverty, drugs and other issues on the housing development, revealing a rich living environment to the viewer as well as revealing how much Wiseman is a visual painter as well as a documentalist. – 8/10

Rage (Joseph Merhi, 1996/USA) – Making the plot as rudimentary as possible and concentrating on the action scenes was probably a good idea, but at the same time with little to latch upon aside from the stunt work. One cannot really see it as an entertaining film but a highlight reel inside a dull genre pick. The anti-Government streak is surprising and probably paradoxical considering the film is a commercial product – Armond White would rip this into pieces if a DVD copy was placed in his lap. – 4/10

Hawk the Slayer (Terry Marcel, 1980/UK) – Utterly silly and kitsch, but it manages to be entertaining both in its incompetent charm and that it completely avoids all the worst aspects of high fantasy, the pretention and the incomprehensible encyclopaedia of names and terms that drown out even the schlocky films. Here it felt like an excuse for actors to dress up in medieval garb, and with Jack Palance chewing the scenery with gusto, it is a delight when so much of the genre is imaginatively stunted and tedious. – 6/10

Deadgirl (Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Harel, 2008/USA) – The bravery of actress Jenny Spain to take the titular role is the sole virtue of this film – her jutting teeth, contorting ribcage and putrid skin blurring the lines of beauty and horror at an almost Cronenbergian level, twisted further by a feminist layer that damns young masculinity for rampant misogyny. Sadly however the rest of the film is a poorly written and middling horror drama that cannot support the central figure. – 4/10

Gotta Be You [By One Direction] (2011) – 4/10
Without You (Feat. Usher) [By David Guetta & Usher] (2011/) – 6/10
To live up to my own mantra that I ‘should watch anything’, maybe that should even include music videos whose artists I would have little interest in. Also considering I got downloads of them for free off iTunes without realising, why not watch them once? Strangely for the first, despite the fact it’s an incredibly generic pop song about love and a bland video, it’s as if Tony Scott directed and edited it during Domino (2005), an erratic barrage of zones, close-to-medium-shots and so much camera work it’s clear the director was trying to catch someone’s attention for more work. It’s also a mess, even more so when, with most cases, the music videos that are remembered stick to specific tones and ideas rather than throw everything in available haphazardly. The music in the second video is ok considering what it is, but the concept of the continents joining back together because of the moments of raves across four different countries is cheesy but imaginative. All in all, it might be worth doing this only with artists I am more interested in. I only wish though I knew who the directors of these two videos were – the lack of information in this except for major directors is quite questionable considering the amount of work, money and time required to make them, and that some can be more effecting than feature films.

The Testament of Orpheus (Jean Cocteau, 1960/France) – If this is any ego to this work like some of the reviews I have read have suggested, at least Cocteau is trying to make something to question and dissect his own artistic purposes and his life rather than to produce empty posturing. A free flowing narrative of images where Cocteau literally cross examines himself and his imagination, it is a beautiful and truly memorable work of dream logic. Even without seeing Orpheus yet, this stands out for its quality. – 9/10

Savage Beach (Andy Sidaris, 1989/USA) – The emphasis on the Japanese characters by Sidaris is quite a surprise and legitimately praisable. Sadly however, after the ridiculous and bizarre beauty of Hard Ticket of Hawaii, his decision to replace of this weirdness with attempts at a serious plot was already failed considering the acting and plotting, despite its charm, wasn’t of the quality to pull it off. Instead of emphasising the cheesy quality of Hard Ticket… and the earlier Malibu Express, he missed point after getting it right twice. – 5/10

Paradise Now (Hany Abu-Assad, 2005/France-Germany-Israel-Netherlands-Occupied Palestinian Territory) – One of the most controversial and significant issues of this era, the relationship of Palestine and Israel with the additional issues of suicide bombing and martyrdom through violence, and sadly the film ends up being simplistic political discussions between the characters on the subject that lead to nothing significant and doesn’t cause one to re-examine all they have seen. The result neutralises such an important subject a Western viewer like me should be concerned about. – 5/10

Otto; or Up with Dead People (Bruce La Bruce, 2008/Canada-Germany) – Taking the well worn figure of horror mythology, the zombie, beyond simply being an outsider but as the next level of sexuality– where lovers literally bite new sexual orifices into each other to fuck – La Bruce comes up with a concept that is inspired. Sadly straight forward gay zombie porn would have been more transgressive, entertaining and interesting, the film ruined by the use of cheap digital cameras (my new sworn enemy of cinema) and a horrifying streak of pretension that at times seemed ironic but sadly is sincere, leading to a painful mess. – 2/10

To Hell With The Devil aka. Mo deng tian shi (John Woo, 1981/Hong Kong) – The traditional tale of God versus the Devil for a man’s soul is transformed into a bizarre little gem in Woo’s filmography where slapstick is even funnier when it is legitimately insane and horror gives him complete disregard for realism, all the while showing glimpses at the technical skills he would push in his acclaimed work. That Woo is a Christian makes the madness on screen, taken to its zenith in the final act – including a swerve into becoming a videogame (?!) – even more dumbfounding and amazing in how far its willing to push itself. – 7/10

April 2012

Lethal Panther aka. Deadly China Dolls (Godfrey Ho, 1990/Hong Kong-Taiwan) – Proof that Ho is even sleazier than I originally pegged him as – the female assassin genre is usually preoccupied by sex, and has quite a few films that are as full of titillation and sleaze as this. Ho seems to be cribbing on John Woo’s The Killer too in his tale of two female assassins who collide with a Philippine crime operation, only with more nudity, more humorous absurdity (surely he must get the joke?) and a rough sense of editing. The haphazard and vague nature of the plotting does undercut its entertainment value though. – 5/10

Revenge of the Zombies (Steve Sekely, 1943/USA) – Hokum, but very entertaining hokum at that. Mantan Moreland’s comedy will be uncomfortable for some in this PC age, but it doesn’t detract from the film. In fact, I will also add that the black female characters seem to be the strongest of the cast, nevear batting an eyelid at the sight of the undead and, if films continued beyond what’s on screen, far more concerned with their normal lives than the gormless men wandering the mansion setting. – 6/10

Climates (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2006/France-Turkey) – Ceylan’s talent with visuals is obvious, but I’ve yet to see a film of his that is great cinema. This film reveals that, paradoxically, trying to make a work as realistic as possible can lead to it become artificial, as happens with this. Oddly, yet fittingly, the moments that stand out is not the drama but the least conventional moments – the director/main character’s habit of using bedside cabinet drawers as headrests, the sight of a peanut (?) on a floor – that are strange enough to feel far more real than the story. – 6/10

13 Assassins (Takashi Miike, 2010/Japan-UK) – Its disappointing that the first Miike film to be this widely praised in a while is a generic samurai film lacking any of the subversiveness that made me a fan of him. (There’s also something dubious about his most ‘accessible’ film for English viewers getting more push than anything else he’s done). It is made exceptionally well, but without the unique flourishes that made Miike such a cult name it feels questionable that such a middle-of-the-road work is celebrated more than anything else. – 5/10

Melancholia (Lars von Trier, 2011/Denmark-France-Germany-Sweden) – It’s a messy film even if it looks beautiful, adventurous in its ideas and yet like Lars von Trier himself full of flaws. In its flaws however it is something tremendous and proves that, regardless of any press conference controversies, von Trier’s films are always in the forefront and almost always some of the best and most interesting cinema you can find. The fact that such a nihilistic work is as life affirming at the end as it is reaffirms von Trier as a great director and that paradoxically von Trier’s nihilism is matched by a sense of hope or beauty for the world despite what his characters may say. – 9/10

Show Me Love (Lukas Moodyson, 1998/Denmark-Sweden) – A raw, visually rough work which, after all these years of wanting to see it, is breathtakingly blunt and yet retains a sweet tenderness to its story and ideas alongside its abrasiveness. Its original title ‘Fucking Åmål’ is the perfect choice for a film like this, a sharp work that obliterated any possibility of it being a tedious adolescent drama and yet is thoughtful in its coarseness, leading a great, emotionally rewarding ending. The wait to see this was worth it. – 8/10

Palms (Artur Aristakisyan, 1993/Russia) – It burns into you. It is deeply sad yet, whether you fully agree with the narrator’s ideas or not, bravely suggests a freedom to homelessness, the total separation from having to contribute to ‘society’ to truly live for yourself, lionising the subjects. The images of black and white streets, homes of garbage and back lanes stick in the mind, while the continuous narration avoids becoming didactic by becoming an interrogation of the narrator’s own mind to his unborn son. It doesn’t matter if it’s a documentary or partially fiction, reaching ideas on life through the director simply looking at the world around him and creating something legitimately profound. – 10/10

A Night To Dismember (Doris Wishman, 1983/USA) – It may be a ‘bad’ film, but accidental results can be just as startling as well made films or even more so. Apparently a disgruntled lab employee destroyed a lot of the original film – I am grateful to him even if I am appalled by such actions. The shaky quality does drag it down, but this inadvertently becomes an abstract pastiche of horror clichés, sporadic images and low budget hallucinatory sequences crashing together and creating a delightful poke in the horror viewer’s eyes. The improvised sound and music design, including the director (?) miming a dog is cacophonous joy. – 6/10

Deja vu (Tony Scott, 2006/UK-USA) – It’s great to see a mainstream Denzil Washington film take a uninhibited swan dive into such an abstract science fiction concept, knowing full well the science makes no sense and far more concerned with the concept itself than dragging itself down with pointless ‘realism’. Tony Scott also takes advantage of it as a visual director, especially an inspired split-screen sequence set completely within a speeding car. It’s a shame though such an idea is squandered in a tedious, run-of-the-mill thriller structure. Perversely as well, I missed the brain melting cinematic spasms from Domino (2005) that nearly caved my head in years ago. – 5/10

Berlin Express (Jacques Tourneur, 1948/USA) – As to be expected from an RKO Picture – I’ve yet to see a legitimately bad one yet – it looks gorgeous in black and white, pushing its patronising propagandist roots into an intercontinental film noir where the bombed out German streets and beer breweries (the later an inspired setting) are drenched in shadows. Sadly, as the intrusive narration demonstrates, this couldn’t escape the patronising propaganda – even in the context of the time, a far more thoughtful and less grating take on the aftermath of WWII could have been taken. – 6/10

Read less