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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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 movie loaded with his own inimitable brand of humorous contempt, while also providing the sort of rollicking adventure yarn studio execs could happily support […]

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Redux of the Dead: 1990’s Night of the Living Dead

There was a time when “remake” wasn’t a dirty word among cinema fans.

This was before the term became synonymous with Hollywood at its most cynical and predatory. Before the mere mention of the r-word caused an outpouring of consternation, bemoaning—and, not without some merit—accusations that the big studios were all out of new ideas, or worse, had simply stopped caring, the scared and belittled remake once had its day in the sun. It was a period when the game plan wasn’t to simply target beloved and finely executed classics such as Robocop, Halloween, or A Nightmare on Elm Street just for their built-in audiences […]

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Biceps for Your Buck: The Movies of Hulk Hogan

The ‘Immortal’ Hulk Hogan: catchy moniker or self-fulfilling prophecy?

For any wrestling fan of the latter part of the 20th century, both will ring true, but whether or not you bought into Hogan’s pro-America schtick, ‘The Hulkster’ was a bona fide superstar for more than two decades, and even now it is hard to dispute him as one of the most recognisable human beings on the planet. Back in the early 1980s, promoter Vince McMahon laid waste to regional territorial system by taking pro wrestling global. Before the rise pay-per-view, there was an unspoken code of ethics that saw regional territories exchanging talent […]

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