Horror Bites - Got Milk?

GOZU (2003)

I feel trying to write an introduction to a Takashi Miike film is often of a pointless endeavour, since just finding his work and watching it without any research is probably the best approach. You generally know what you're in for - to expect the unexpected. Whether the synopsis features yakuza thugs or modest businessmen, the stories never really stick to any standard archetypes. So when I offer a brief explanation that Gozu is about two gangster friends, one who is tasked with taking his colleague to be killed because he has begun to lose his mind... you know that this is probably not going to be an exploration of the expected tropes. While there are some themes of brotherhood and loyalty, much of the plot here is far more bizarre.

Horror Bites - Meat Train


It takes something a little more out there to get me interested in yet another zombie film these days, beyond just making them run around like rabid lunatics again or having the setting be something mildly novel like a train. In this case things did seem to be looking up, with an emphasis on adrenalin fuelled chases and claustrophobic passenger compartments instead of the usual focus on bloody effects. I was certainly interested to see how a Korean take on the genre would pan out and what outlandish elements might be introduced outside of Hollywood. However a few too many of the old clich├ęs have been retained along the way.

Review Roundup - Double Down


While Sad Keanu Chapter One was a slick sleeper hit that struck a nerve with many people who were tired of shaking cameras and censored violence, part of me was left wanting more. It was stripped down and stylish, but there was always something a bit restrained about it all. I may be hard to please but I've sat through Hard Boiled far too many times to immediately accept something like this as a new breed of shoot 'em up spectacle. But it laid some interesting ground work and showed people that actually being able to see movie violence could be a thing again. Fortunately a second time around means that they can push things a little further, and it's just the kind of push a sequel like this needs. Is it the double tap hit of adrenalin that I was hoping for previously? Well yes and no.

Review Roundup - Making Bacon

OKJA (2017)

After a number of years, director Bong Joon-ho returns to mixing up different genres under the guise of a creature feature. Just like the 10 year period in this story where the titular 'Super Pig' has been grown in the rural wilderness of South Korea, it's been a long time coming. Since The Host visual effects technology has developed and the cinema landscape itself has mutated and evolved. This is of course a Netflix release which has seen only a very limited theatrical run. But what has changed for the film maker over this time? Does the blend of satire and giant monster feel more refined after this lengthy period? Do the shifts in tone feel more natural and more finely tuned? Those anticipating another quirky but charming story know what to expect, but those stabs at the modern world are still pretty blunt.



FILM OF THE MONTH: To Live and Die in LA ☆☆☆☆
Don't Breathe ☆☆☆☆
Ghostbusters ☆☆☆☆
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade ☆☆☆☆
Ronin ☆☆☆☆
The Full Monty ☆☆☆☆
Tomorrow Never Dies ☆☆☆☆
Total Recall ☆☆☆☆