We’re ‘Cohen’ to the Movies: King Cohen and the Story of a True Maverick

I’ve been thinking – when was the last time one of Larry Cohen’s films was screened on terrestrial TV?

I’m not counting Phone Booth, the brilliantly simple and super-tense Joel Schumacher thriller from 2002 that he wrote. No, I mean a proper, legit Larry Cohen-directed film. There are more than a few out there. Blimey, was it really around twenty or so years ago, when Channel 5, in its infant years, screened Q: The Winged Serpent on a Saturday night? It might be. I remember satellite channel Bravo, in its ‘twisted cult horror’ incarnation, showing The Stuff, and one of the Sky movie channels put on A Return to Salem’s Lot one night (a screening I taped for myself). After that, I’m struggling to think of any more […]

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The Brood and Hollywood’s Bastard Child

It’s hard to imagine how audiences would have received The Brood back in 1979.

Fascinated with the metaphysical, filmmaker David Cronenberg was some way ahead of his time conceptually, and his interest in what would become known as ‘body horror’ was something moviegoers were distinctly unprepared for. Even now, almost four decades later, the film is quite the experience, a bleak oddity as strangely engrossing as it is distressing. The film would also mark the debut of three-time Academy Award winning composer Howard Shore, his wretched, nerve-jangling score helping to establish an almost ceaseless sense of alarm with its Psycho-esque strings and patient foreboding […]

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Stand and Deliver: The Rise of The Warriors

No movie oozes cult appeal quite like The Warriors.

Walter Hill’s roguish ballet is as detached from reality as it is packed with legitimacy—quite the achievement for a screenplay of such stark simplicity. Unlike most other gang-orientated pictures, it doesn’t condemn or even sympathise. Its cast of thugs are not the subject of morality plays. They are not analysed or judged for their actions, and there is no Bronson-esque retribution or attempt to provide solutions for this overblown representation of violent youth. Instead, they are accepted as […]

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Dragon’s Ascension: Enter the Dragon

Bruce Lee was on fire in 1972.  Each of his Hong Kong films broke Asian box office records greater than the last.

Naturally, Hollywood wanted in on the action, despite having driven him away years earlier. At the time, the studio heads were reticent to portray an Asian in any more than a supporting role, even to the point of giving the role that was tailor made for Lee, the Shaolin monk in the Kung Fu television series, to David Carradine, a white actor with no martial arts experience. Now that Lee was an international star and a guaranteed moneymaker, Warner Brothers decided to change its tune and offer Bruce his own big-budget […]

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