Why I Love… #109: Toys Are Not For Children

Year: 1972 Director: Stanley H Brassloff Stars: Marcia Forbes, Evelyn Kingsley, Harlan Cary Poe The first word we hear in Toys Are Not For Children is a husky, lustrously whispered "Daddy". Jamie (Marcia Forbes) is lying naked on her bed with a large toy soldier. She's in the throws of a sexual fantasy, and the … Continue reading Why I Love… #109: Toys Are Not For Children

The Sleazoid Life of Pets

Stray dogs roam the Californian beaches. Among them strays Bonnie (Candice Rialson); a beautiful blonde, on the run from her domineering, violent and resentful brother. Raphael Nussbaum's 1973 grindhouse classic Pets will follow her through a triptych of sexually charged situations, as the film at large explores themes of possession. Spoilers ahead... Newly reissued in the … Continue reading The Sleazoid Life of Pets

Why I Love… #106: The Swinging Cheerleaders

Year: 1974 Director: Jack Hill Stars: Jo Johnston, Rainbeaux Smith, Rosanne Keaton Is there such a thing as an elevated exploitation film? In the documentary on the Filipino B-movie boom Machete Maidens Unleashed, cult director John Landis laughs off the notion, rejecting the idea that filmmakers who indulge in exploitation pictures have any loftier intentions … Continue reading Why I Love… #106: The Swinging Cheerleaders

Review: Happy As Lazzaro

Director: Alice Rohrwacher Stars: Adriano Tardiolo, Alba Rohrwacher, Luca Chikovani This review contains some mild spoilers. I've tried to keep it vague, but I really couldn't help it if we're to talk about the movie in any meaningful way. There's a flavour of 70's Italian rebel Pasolini about Alice Rohrwacher's Happy As Lazzaro; a singularly … Continue reading Review: Happy As Lazzaro

Why I Love… #92: Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41

Year: 1972 Director: Shunya Ito Star: Meiko Kaji, Kayoko Shiraishi, Fumio Watanabe A product of Japanese film studio Toei in the early 1970s, the Female Prisoner Scorpion series - known in some circles as Female Convict Scorpion - detail the misadventures of Nami Matsushima (Meiko Kaji), a woman wrongfully imprisoned - framed by her former boyfriend - … Continue reading Why I Love… #92: Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41

Review: Red Sparrow

Director: Francis Lawrence Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Matthias Schoenaerts, Joel Edgerton Director Francis Lawrence and the star of his three Hunger Games features, Jennifer Lawrence, reunite for something altogether different (yet naggingly familiar) with this smooth, slick and wholly soulless spy thriller based on a book by Jason Matthews. J-Law stars as Dominika Egorova, a renowned Bolshoi … Continue reading Review: Red Sparrow

Why I Love… #83: Ms. 45

Year: 1981 Director: Abel Ferrara Stars: Zoë Lund (Thana), Albert Sinkys (Albert), Darlene Stuto (Laurie), Helen McGara (Carol), Nike Zachmanoglou (Pamela), Editta Sherman (Mrs. Nasone) Genre: Thriller, Exploitation Quantifying why I love Ms. 45 is going to be trickier than most of these essays as it can be a hard film to love, or rather, can seem … Continue reading Why I Love… #83: Ms. 45

Review: Knock Knock

Between his Hostel features, Cabin Fever and his minor role in Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof, Eli Roth has secured himself the position of modern horror cinema's troublesome, occasionally deplorable, but overall harmless fratboy. A cheeky prankster who trades away subtlety for gleeful rolls in the dirt, encouraging us to pat his belly as we drop our manners and … Continue reading Review: Knock Knock

Review: Everly

I cast my mind back to my 14-year-old self living in the year 1997, going to school, coming home, listening to Steve Lamacq and John Peel on the radio, playing Nintendo 64 games with friends and watching any VHS we could get our hands on with an 18 certificate. Among the most beloved of these … Continue reading Review: Everly

Why I Love… #40: Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Year: 1965 Director: Russ Meyer Stars: Tura Satana (Varla), Haji (Rosie), Lori Williams (Billie), Ray Barlow (Tommy), Susan Bernard (Linda), Dennis Busch (The Vegetable), Stuart Lancaster (The Old Man), Paul Trinka (Kirk). Genre: Exploitation Russ Meyer's Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! has been on my list to cover off in this series since I decided to start … Continue reading Why I Love… #40: Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Review: Hobo With A Shotgun

***originally written 2 August 2011*** How does a film review best serve its readers? More precisely, how does the reviewer best advise others? Is it to set aside personal preference and instead speak as though to the masses? And in doing so might one end up recommending only the most broadly palatable films? How does … Continue reading Review: Hobo With A Shotgun