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Congo

Congo: White King, Red Rubber, Black Death. 2003. An International co-production between Belgium, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, and the UK.  92 min. Written and directed by Peter Bate. “The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than …

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The Star Trek Mystic Awareness School

Cult Cinema: Volume 9 It’s common geek  knowledge that Star Trek is a smarter version of Star Wars. However, this should not be the badge of honour that so many Trekkies wear with pride, since Star Wars is essentially what idiot kids dream about when they’ve eaten cotton candy instead of their Ritalin. Here’s the thing: musing …

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Star Trek

Star Trek Directed by J.J. Abrams The greatest challenge of taking on any known cultural property in the world of film is that of fulfilling the “fan-service” requirements held by the stalwart fans of said property. Take too many liberties in pursuit of making a more interesting film, and you’ll attract ire (Ang Lee’s Hulk); …

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The Hunger

Billed as a horror film, The Hunger is anything but. What it is, however, is a credible first effort by Tony Scott (Déjà vu, Domino, Man on fire), Ridley’s younger brother. Immediately after watching I came to the conclusion that this film is one of either two things: an incredibly good 80s vampire movie or …

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28 Days Later…

28 Days Later… 2002, UK Directed by Danny Boyle Written by Alex Garland Starring Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Noah Huntley, Christopher Eccleston, Brendan Gleeson The more times I see this film, the better it gets. This may, however, be because it’s made up of three better movies, The Omega Man, Dawn of the Dead, and …

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George A. Romero Sans Zombies

Body Count: Volume 5 . There are certain directors whose represent absolutely pivotal moments in filmmaking. People like Griffith, Welles, Coppola and Scorcese have contributed to film in a way that has shaped the entire medium and changed the game. But there are also directors who represent pivotal moments of genre evolution: George Lucas and …

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Sugar

Sugar Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck Miguel “Sugar” Santos (Algenis Perez Soto), aspiring Dominican baseball star, is the focus of the sophomore effort from Half Nelson writer-director team Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, a film long on empathy but short on revelation. Santos is eventually picked to play for a minor-league team in …

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Hostel, Torture Porn, and the Blood Worship Doctrine

Cult Cinema: Volume 8 At their best, horror films hold society up to a funhouse mirror, providing a grotesque yet revealing reflection of cultural concerns, values, and above all, fears. And then there’s torture porn, in which the only insights are gained from peering deep into the vivisected ruins of a woman’s genitals. The term …

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The Muscles from Brussels

Although he was born in Berchem-Sainte Agathe, Belgium, with the name of Jean-Claude Van Varenbeerg, Van Damme once called himself “Frank Cujo” when he first moved to Hollywood in 1981. When he couldn’t find work as an actor the former European Professional Karate Association’s middleweight champion decided to take English classes while working as a …

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16 Blocks

16 Blocks 2006, USA Directed by Richard Donner Written by Richard Wenk Starring Bruce Willis, Mos Def, David Morse, Jenna Stern I broke a promise today. Long ago, I swore that should I ever again stumble upon a film that uses a hand-held tape recorded as a deus ex machina plot device, I would douse …

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A Love Letter to Count Dracula

Body Count: Volume 3 Vampires are starting to make a come back, in case you haven’t noticed. Teenage girls seem to be swooning at the thought of gentlemanly “vegetarian” vampires that sparkle in the sunlight that should be burning their wretched husks to a crisp. A little while back, I did an article studying the …

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Begotten

Upon viewing Begotten for the first time, one could easily mistake it for an archaic silent film made by a seriously deranged director on crack (or whatever popular drug they used a hundred years ago). Low and behold, this is a movie from 1991 by 45-year old Edmund Elias Merhige (Suspect Zero, Shadow of the …

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Session 9

Although Brad Anderson’s career as a feature-film director spans less than a decade, the American director has consistently satisfied audiences with his own peculiar brand of supernatural tales. Happy Accidents, Session 9, The Machinist and Transsiberian all have their own following by people who enjoy an alternative to the mainstream “thrillers” we’ve been inundated with …

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Academy for Tarantino-Guided Imagery

Cult of the Week: Volume 5 Quentin Tarantino is every video store clerk’s idol, and every film critic’s nightmare. Venerated by midnight movie buffs and Blockbuster cashiers for his unadulterated love of cult cinema, Tarantino has proved that a film school education is no match for passion, creativity, and kinetic energy. Unfortunately for film critics, …

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Introducing…Body Count

Body Count: Volume 1 Horror. The much maligned, hard partying, estranged uncle of cinema. Being the reasonably presentable professional that I am by day, it often shocks people that I, a man in his thirties of above-average intelligence devotes such a large portion of his free time mentally cataloguing some of the worst movies ever …

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