Review: mother! (2017)

Two words of warning before you watch mother!

  1. Don’t watch it if you’re pregnant.
  2. Don’t watch it if you’re easily shocked or offended.

Now we have that cleared up, where to start without giving mother! away? It’s best to go into this film knowing absolutely nothing as when you realise what this is about, it’s absolutely astounding. Darren Aronofsky has made one of the films of the year, a film of our times, and we can’t stop thinking about it. It’s so rich, so vile, so emotional, so beautiful. Just see it now.

Jennifer Lawrence puts in the performance of her career as the young wife only known as ‘mother’. Her existence is attending to her house and her older poet husband Him (Javier Bardem). She never stops,  cleaning, cooking and renovating the house – Him’s former home – which was burned to the ground. Some uninvited strangers turn up one night – man (Ed Harris) and woman (Michelle Pfeiffer) – who start to cause havoc, mess up the kitchen and block the toilet with strange things. Him takes them in as guests and…well…

mother! is controversial for a reason. We wouldn’t expect nothing less in the final act from the director of Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan. He’s messed us up before. We’ve sat through Martyrs (the original, naturally) and hardly flinched but this…this is…something else. But for what it portrays and what it’s all about, it’s a sombre reflection on our own existence and where we’re heading. Plus Kristen Wiig plays an absolute blinder in a chilling scene.

You may laugh. You may want to walk out. You will walk out. Whilst all around us were balking, we wanted to stand up and cheer. A truly amazing piece of filmmaking, innovation and art. Plus that Best Actress Oscar is really deserved by Ms Lawrence.




RATING: 10/10

Watch it for: The entire bloody experience. Glorious

Watch out for: We can’t talk about it just yet. Keep the secret 


Buzzed For – Alien: Covenant

Danny McBride as action hero. James Franco as – he’s got to be, right? – alien nasty, nasty death fodder. Is Seth Rogen going to pop up in the alien costume? We’re very excited for Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant and it looks hopeful that we may be going back to dark roots and true horror.

Out 19 May 2017 in the UK and US.


Review: The Driller Killer (1979)


One of the most infamous ‘video nasties’, Abel Ferrara’s debut film is misunderstood – many originally judged it on its video artwork alone (the cover showing a close-up of a man being drilled in the head + loadddds of blood) but it’s so much more than a splatter. It’s an arthouse exploitation film essentially – low budget but aesthetically appealing, with way out performances and some really kooky characters. It’s also one of the best punk movies ever, all kudos to the film’s house band, Tony Coca-Cola and The Roosters, who set the tone; as the movie’s opening credits state, ‘This Film Should Be Played Loud’ – that applies to the drill sounds AND the punk rock.

Ferrara directs himself as New York artist Reno, who lives with two beautiful women in a boho lifestyle but is on the edge due to taking his time on his next masterpiece, the bills coming in, the punk band practising downstairs and a growing obsession with power tools. As his rage builds, his visions of lashing out at victims with a drill also take over and he explodes in a violent rampage.

The influences of Driller Killer are everywhere, from American Psycho to Maniac. Ferrara’s performance alone is extraordinary and there’s a (really) dark humour to his rampage. We also found ourselves tapping our feet to all the punk tracks. This is late 70s New York at its finest and grittiest, and it’s a whole lot of grimy fun.

The Driller Killer is released on DVD, Blu-Ray and Dual Format on Monday 28 November from Arrow Video. 




RATING: 8/10

Watch it for: Abel Ferrara’s performance

Watch out for: A drilling surprise at a bus stop 

Review: Death Walks on High Heels (1971)

Luciano Ercoli’s giallo classic is released by Arrow Video today as part of the ‘Death Walks Twice’ box set, with Death Walks at Midnight (1972) also in the set.

It’s a joy to watch again, as we follow the stunning exotic dancer Nicole (Nieves Navarro, starring under her stage name of Susan Scott) as she’s involved in a plot to recover some stolen diamonds from her murdered jewel thief father, which puts her life under threat.

With the black-clad murderer with piercing blue eyes after her, Nicole flees to London with her new rich lover but she can’t get away from the stalker.

Death Walks…is kitsch, classy and sexy, with some great dialogue – in an English country pub, a man remarks to an old lady about the sex life of Nicole and her lover during the day, to which the old lady replies ‘what do they get up to at night?!’ – and it’s genuinely a lot of fun. As far as giallo goes, there’s some genre-pleasing moments that fans will enjoy and a solid, twist and turns plot that does bring a surprise at the end.

It’s worth watching for Navarro/Scott’s wonderful dancing alone.





Watch it for: Nieves Navarro/Susan Scott is captivating

Watch out for: What you see through the keyhole



New: The Gift

Lionsgate’s The Gift looks intriguing. Simon and Robyn, a young married couple – played by Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall – have their life thrown into chaos by an acquaintance from Simon’s past; he turns up bearing a gift and a horrifying secret from over 20 years ago. It’s from the producer of The Purge Jason Blum and is the directorial debut of actor and writer Joel Edgerton.

Release in the UK: 7 August

Certificate: 15

Running time: 108 minutes