What About… Barb Wire

The mid '90s were a strange place for celluloid feminism, especially if you dipped your toes in the still-murkier waters of B-movie horror and sci-fi. Misogyny was still the main order of the day. And though some titles faired better than others at making their strong women smart and capable (hello Rachel Talalay's exuberant Tank …

Review: New Order

Director: Michel Franco Stars: Naian Gonzalez Norvind, Diego Boneta, Darío Yazbek Bernal Bong Joon-Ho's globally lauded Parasite wasn't exactly sly with its observations on class disparity, but it seems positively nuanced when set beside the blunt force trauma of Michel Franco's latest offering from Mexico. New Order presents a rapidly escalating conflict between working and upper …

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 …

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 - …

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 …

Review: Knock Knock

Director: Eli Roth Stars: Ana de Armas, Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo 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 …

Review: Everly

Director: Joe Lynch Stars: Salma Hayek, Gabriella Wright, Hiroyuki Watanabe 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 …

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 …