Revisiting…Boyz n the Hood (1991)

Almost thirty years have passed since the release of John Singleton’s controversial drama, and the movie has lost none of its power. In fact, it is hard to imagine a film of its nature existing in today’s censored climate.

Back in 1991, the infamous L.A. riots were just around the corner, and rap was more than just a vehicle for cynical, white-collar marketing. Thanks to certain creative freedoms, the racially oppressed still had something of a mainstream voice, and movies were allowed to champion unpopular opinions.

Fast-forward three decades and the themes featured in Boyz n the Hood have been stylized to such a degree that its characters have been reduced to impotent stereotypes, its situations diluted beyond parody…

Read Article →

The Bruce Campbell Factor

A couple of weeks ago a fellow writer and I had a discussion regarding Bruce Campbell’s Unified Theory of Jessica Alba.

As a result of that conversation, I began thinking about other actors who have made significant impacts on popular culture. There is a concept that exists about Kevin Bacon called Six Degrees of Separation that everyone has played with at one time or another. If you aren’t familiar with it, you take a Kevin Bacon movie and try to connect him to other actors…

Read Article →

Revisiting…Sexy Beast (2000)

The opening scene of Sexy Beast is one of great comical foreboding.

Retired safe-cracker Gal, played with subtle potency by the wonderful Ray Winstone, is your typical Brit abroad, a red lobster baking in the Spanish heat and loving every minute of it. His dysfunctional family consists of his beloved partner Dee Dee, an ex porn star with just as much reason to escape her homeland, another gangland couple with a similarly unfortunate past, and a young Spanish boy who performs chores around Gal’s villa with the adoring smile of an adulating son…

Read Article →

The Immortalizer (1989)

Move over, Dr Frankenstein, there’s a new re-animator in town.

His name is Dr Devine, and in his business a mishmash of body parts will not suffice. Everybody has dreamed of eternal youth, but for those who are uninterested in being turned into a plastic zombie, our crazed innovator has dreamed up a mind-boggling alternative – providing you are hideously wealthy and bereft of all human emotion…

Read Article →

Revisiting…They Live (1988)

John Carpenter enjoyed considerable success throughout the late 70s and 80s, working within low budgets and tight schedules to produce unlikely box office hits that contradict their meagre outlay.

Though he is primarily seen as a director of horror movies, his science fiction releases represent some of his strongest work, harking back to the good ol’ days of the 50s with strong political leanings…

Read Article →

Basket Case (1982)

Basket Case is a gloriously depraved little effort that puts the majority of exploitation schlock to shame.

Cult Director Frank Henenlotter’s other notable works are just as smutty and bizarrely realised, and each film exhibits a surprising level of depth in spite of its paper thin characters, second rate acting and degradation of just about every marginalised member of modern society you can dare to imagine. Later efforts Brain Damage and Frankenhooker took a rusted scalpel to drug abuse and prostitution respectively, and with Basket Case that kind of slapdash social surgery takes on a far more literal form.

Read Article →