Reviews

Criticism and analysis of horror, fantasy, and science film on film and television screens; plus books that examine the genres or novels that have been adapted into movies; also soundtracks and any other-cinema related works worthing examining.

The Eyes of My Mother review

This emphatically grim art house horror film offers hypnotic visuals but lacks a clear vision of its central character.
The Eyes of My Mother is so effective in its use of a detached, observational style of art house horror that I wish I could declare it a mini-masterpiece, but I can’t. The black-and-white images, often filmed in static long [...]

Godzilla Resurgence review

Unlike the Energizer Bunny, the new Godzilla is a windup toy that runs down – or, if you’ll pardon the mixed metaphor, runs out of radioactive steam.
Godzilla roars again, but the sound has been fed through a broken ring modulator, resulting in a distorted signal. This is highly unfortunate, since the new film SHIN GODZILLA (Shin [...]

Icetastrophe - Temple of Bad Podcast

Icetastrophe – Temple of Bad Podcast

Ever wonder what your cats do when you’re not around? Sorry to disappoint you, but likely they climb up on the couch and go to sleep. Ever wonder what kind of film Syfy runs when nobody’s watching? Very likely it’s ICETASTROPHE, a virtual non-entity of a natural disaster movie in which a meteor somehow manages to [...]

Patch Town - Temple of Bad Podcast

Patch Town – Temple of Bad Podcast

Oh, sure, anybody can look at a ROBOT MONSTER, a BIRDEMIC, a XANADU and say, “Wow, that’s stinky.” It takes next-level insight to take on the likes of PATCH TOWN, an ambitious tale of a grown up Cabbage Patch doll breaking out of the gulag-like factory where he’s enslaved to find the little girl who [...]

The Valdemar Legacy review

It almost borders on amazing that The Valdemar Legacy (La Herencia Valdemar) has not been embraced as a cult item by horror fans around the globe. The Spanish production name-checks such genre icons as Poe (borrowing the name ”Valdemar” from one of his stories) to Lovecraft (the alleged source of inspiration for the screenplay) to Aleister Crowley, Bram Stoker, [...]

Muoi: The Legend of a Portrait - review

Muoi: The Legend of a Portrait – review

Remember when J-Horror and K-Horror were a thing, and Asian filmmakers could barely churn out titles fast enough for Hollywood to remake them? Well, here is a relatively late  example of the form, an elegantly crafted Korean ghost story, Muoi: Legend of a Portrait (2007), which should please fans who cannot get enough of a good [...]

The Lady Vampire review

The Lady Vampire review

This movie has everything – well, almost everything. It has a dwarf; a mute bald-headed assistant; an old lady who shows up at the beginning of the story, looking young; another old lady who shows up at the end of the story looking old; a bunch of other ladies immobilized like mannequins on display; and an artistic Japanese vampire [...]

Mansion of the Ghost Cat review

An atmospheric and well-executed genre piece from Nobou Nakagawa, Japan’s equivalent to Terence Fisher.
If Japanese director Nobou Nakagawa is known at all in the U.S., it is because of Jigoku (1960), an art-house perennial and the recipient of a Criterion Collection release on DVD and streaming services. This might lead western audiences to view Nakagawa as a [...]

Tetsuo: The Bullet Man review

Tetsuo: The Bullet Man review

Two decades after TETSUO: THE IRON MAN, writer-director Shinya Tsukamoto returns to the franchise that he last visited in TETSUO II: BODY HAMMER. The results should please fans eager for another helping of science-fiction body horror, featuring a hapless human transforming from mere flesh and blood into a mutant metallic hybrid, but despite the addition [...]

Shaun the Sheep Movie – review

Despite some forays into computer-generated animation (Flushed Away, Arthur Christmas), Aardman Animations remains committed to the art of stop-motion, as evidenced by their most recent theatrical release, 2015’s Shaun the Sheep Movie, which sees the company struggling but ultimately succeeding at expanding their television series a feature film. The movie lurches to a shaky start, as if uncertain [...]