Darkman (1990)

As comic book adaptations go, Sam Raimi’s Darkman released in 1990, on the back of an inspired marketing campaign that queried the origin of the character by posing the question ‘Who Is Darkman?’ was one of the most interesting of the era. This was despite the fact it was scripted from an original story idea by The Evil Dead helmer as opposed to an actual comic book from the period it pays homage to.

Drawing on the Universal horror movies of the 1930s, in particular the celebrated oeuvre of James Whale, as well as The Shadow, The Phantom of the Opera and a veritable glut of monster and comic book staples, the film would […]

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Reality, Identity and Satire in Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall

Prior to joining forces with Joe Eszterhas to develop subversive, erotic thriller Basic Instinct in the early 90s, Paul Verhoeven would follow up his dystopian masterclass Robocop with a similarly subversive sci-fi extravaganza.

In theory, Total Recall would be a big budget sci-fi action vehicle starring former Pumping Iron alumni and future Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger. In practice, however, Verhoeven would once again manage to create a blockbuster […]

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Memoirs of An Invisible Man (1992)

In the early 90s, John Carpenter, after a break from filmmaking following the commercial ambivalence indie productions Prince of Darkness and They Live were met with in cinemas, decided to take a punt on directing a studio flick again.

The film, Carpenter’s first studio effort since the mid-eighties, was a mainstream Hollywood movie, produced by Chevy Chase, which the actor was using to springboard into drama. Chase wanted the film to have a solemn flavour. So he brought in gun-for-hire John Carpenter to direct, who was hired in the wake of Ivan Reitman, who reportedly disagreed with Chase on what the tone of the film should be […]

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War In Perpetuity: Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers

In a conversation with Little White Lies in 2017, Paul Verhoeven accused Hollywood of treating the general cinema- going public like idiots. ‘Hollywood thinks audiences are stupid’, he was quoted as saying during a promotional interview for controversial 2016 Isabelle Huppert starrer Elle.

The provocative Dutch director, responsible, arguably, for single-handedly reinvigorating the cinematic respectability of his home nation with auteur productions such as Turkish Delight and The 4th Man, left the Netherlands to work in America due to the backlash […]

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