Published on April 3rd, 2015 | by SgtKaiju0
Cult Of Consume – Vol. IV
Greetings and welcome to my little dark corner of Need To Consume, THE CULT OF CONSUME. This is where we look beyond the frontline of film, deep into the DVD racks, into the VOD void and around the back into the alleyway of re-releases. This isn’t the place for your blockbuster drudgery. I’m going to be bringing you hidden gems of the cult world, lost classics and certainly some films that have been forgotten for good reason.
There will be zombies. There will death. There will be terrible acting and set that move when touched. There will be nudity, violence, aliens, gods, gangsters, madmen and femme fatales. Come with me…
The Ghasty Love Of Johnny X
A black and white musical spoof of the 50s teensploitation genre? Sign me up!
Springing from the mind of Paul Bunnell, GLOJX tells the story of Johnny X, an intergalactic bad boy banished to 50s America until he could prove his worth with ‘one selfless act’. Cue a series of misadventures with an undead country singer, femme fatales, switchblades and show tunes. Whilst the song’s do add an lovely flair to the film, they are at most forgettable, the only standout being the opening number by Johnny X’s gang.
Shot in sumptious B&W, the film does wonderfully evoke the period it’s aiming for, feeling like a lost film of the era rather than a modern period piece. A seriously fun film, a hearty recommendation from me!
What We Do In The Shadows
Springing from the Flight Of The Conchords alumni Jermaine Clement and BOY director Taika Waititi, WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS is a a mockumentary in the vein of SPINAL TAP, telling the story of a flat of Wellington-based Vampires and their awkward adventures.
Brilliantly observed (if such a thing can be said for a film about vampires), this film is easily the funniest I’ve reviewed for a long time. The main cast (including the directors) are pitch perfect, balancing the inherent drama of Vampirism with the inherent awkwardness of how that would interplay with the real world.
Special mention must go to Rhys Darby. The hidden gem in the original FOTC series, here he plays the passive Alpha Dog in the local pack of werewolves. It is a joy to see him whenever he on scene.
All in all, a modern classic, should be held up in the same breath as SHAUN OF THE DEAD or TUCKER & DALE. Go see it, go see it now.
The Haunting Of Radcliffe House
A confusing film of two distinct parts, THE HAUNTING OF RADCLIFFE HOUSE is a great film let down by the lack of a coherent ending.
Setting up the story of a family who move to a remote Yorkshire manor so the mother (played by Dollhouse alumni Oliva Williams) can do it up for it’s American owner with her artist husband and rebellious teenage daughter and son. As she uncovers the occult past of the property, old ghosts rise up to stake their claim on the house and her family.
The film does a pitch-perfect job of creating the sense of tension and uneasy inherent in these kinds of films, slowly ratcheting up the odd-ness until the tension is palpable. Matthew Modine does great work as the husband slowly becoming unhinged with his art and the kids are the right amount of neediness and resourcefulness to engender love from the audience rather than the usual hate.
But, the film drops the ball in the last act. Despite the stellar work done to build the feel of the film, the film quickly loses all sense of internal logic, forgoing actual plot in sake of set pieces and an ending scene that anyone with a modicum of cinema knowledge will have seen coming. One for a horror marathon, not really worth the price of admission on it’s own.
Hands down, this is the most beautiful film this month. Telling the tale of a down-on-his luck actor against his undead neighbours, RIGOR MORTIS is a Hong Kong horror film very much in the JHorror style, but more a filmic homage to the mid-80s franchise of MR VAMPIRE. As it trades on the currency of the cultural weight of that series, the plot can seem maddeningly dense to Western audiences but if you scratch the surface, you get some amazing characterisation, especially from Billy Lau as the Vampire Hunter turned Cook.
But this film is all about the visuals, and those it has in spades. From the unnerving tendrils that follow the ghosts around to the slowly decomposing jiangshi, the visual effects are spot-on, with the etheral floating camera only adding to the edgy feeling of the film. A must-see.