Monday, 26 October 2020

Video Nasty Rewatch part 13 - The Cannibal Man

Yet another alternative title

Well colour me surprised. I saw this years ago and it bored me silly so the idea of a revisit made me want to put pennies over my eyes but godammit it's actually a nifty little thriller that's a lot more intelligent than it gets credit for. There are way too few nasties we can say that about.

Set over 7 days it's the story of Marcos, a bad tempered butcher and the trouble his rage gets him into. First up is an altercation he gets into with a taxi driver that's witnessed by his girlfriend Paula. The driver dies and when Paula suggests going to the cops, he flips and kills her too. Marcos is looked down on by society because of his job and where he came from, he knows the cops would kill him, he sees himself as innocent and still does after his deliberate murder of Paula. Then his brother rocks up looking for Paula and he meets his maker too. Then his brother's girlfriend and so on and so on. The bodies are stacking up, the air in Marcos' apartment is getting ripe and air freshener will only cover up so much. He needs a plan. Then he remembers what he does for a living.....

It sounds like a splatterfest and yeah it does contain a couple of pretty gnarly sequences of brutality (slit throats, meats cleavers to faces, that horrible slaughter sequence the movie opens with) but it's quite a clever watch too. It's a fine example of 70's social cinema containing commentary on the hierarchies of Spanish society (all society really) in between it's darker moments. The Spain we know today is all beaches, sun, cerveza and paella but in 1972 when this was released the country was still under the thumb of Francisco Franco, the dictator who had his boot on the neck of the country for almost 40 years. Life there was pretty shitty for the have nots and The Cannibal Man was a darkly satirical look at the existence of the common man. 

So why did it bore me the first time i saw it? I think i might have been expecting something a lot more video nasty-esque because of that title. In Spain it's called La Semana Del Asesino aka The Murderer's Week but in the UK distributors renamed it as The Cannibal Man to cash in on the infamy of Cannibal Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox and wouldn't you know it, it backfired and it ended up on the video nasty list. Like so many on that list it would have been forgotten in the mists of time but being part of the DPP 39 gave it infamy. An infamy it does not deserve at all. But an infamy that got it a wider audience than it would have never got by itself.

Would I recommend this one? Yep. Just close your eyes at the start.

Does it deserve it's nasty status? Not a hope.

What's next? Devil Hunter is next. Another Jess Franco suckfest about a monster with ping pong ball eyes. No I'm not making this up.

Sunday, 25 October 2020

Uncle Peckerhead

"What do people taste like?"

"Hmmm.....well.....some people taste like dogshit and others taste like.....watermelon sherbert."

"Huh, sounds like a metaphor for humanity."

For a film that begins with a jawbone being ripped off a partially avulsed skull so the meat attached to it can be eaten, Uncle Peckerhead is a surprisingly likable watch.

With a name like Duh a band is always going to have a hard time getting respect and lead singer Judy (Chet Siegel) is getting sick of it all. She's jacked in her job to devote all her time to her passion and she's the only one taking things seriously. Duh need a kick up the arse to get going and a chance encounter with a man called Peckerhead (David Littleton) is just what they need. Peckerhead, Peck for short, has a van and nowhere to be so he becomes their driver and roadie. Judy is uncertain about the new guy in their lives and their clash of personalities only deepens when she discovers Peck cannibalising a promoter who's just ripped them off. You see Peck is a bit of a misfit, he's half man half monster and his bad half only comes out at night. Now Judy and the Duh's have to put their disgust of Peck to one side because that van of his, it's just so damn handy and they realise that if they keep him sweet, he's only a minor threat to them.

This new comedy horror, streaming online now as part of the IFI horrorthon is loads of fun. If your idea of fun is ripped out spinal columns, spraying faecal matter and band massacres you'll have a ball with it. Unlike the vast majority of streaming horror released these days Uncle Peckerhead is made to entertain you, there's no horrible undertones, it won't (unduly) disgust you, stress you out, rub your face in pain and suffering, it's a film to laugh with and not at. The people who get ripped asunder generally deserve it. The people who don't are fun to be with and have a nice easy chemistry that ensure you don't want to see them splashed across the screen. Plus their music ain't bad at all. The practical FX (god i love practical FX) will make you laugh instead of sickening you, especially the scene when two brilliantly cliched metalheads get in Peck's face. You always know who's going to bite the dust and there's loads of fun watching these meatpuppets stumble into Peck's way.

Like 2016's own punk rock horror Green Room this film goes out of it's way to de-glamourise the idea of life on the road for small time bands. It's a miserable cramped existence, privacy doesn't exist, you never know if you'll be paid or how much you'll get at the end of a night, meals are whatever you can find in road sides stores, getting to sleep in a real bed is a rarity. It's such a rotten way to live that the introduction of an actual monster to your circle would actually spice things up and if the monster turns out to be pretty decent it's a bonus. Peck is one of that rare breed of movie monster, one you'd actually have a laugh with. As long as you stay on his right side that is and David Littleton's friendly manner and homely turns of phrase make it easy to see why the Duh's keep him around despite his love of scoffing human bowels. 

Solid punk tunes, some lovingly realised comic violence, surprisingly good acting and a lovable bad(?) guy. What's not to like?

Btw, i not so subtly mentioned 5 punk bands in this review. See if you can find them.

Saturday, 24 October 2020

17 films on TV this week to help you ignore everything else

War For The Planet Of The Apes   Sat   24/10   RTE2 @ 21.45

The ape vs human conflict is in full swing and both sides are suffering huge casualties. An obsessive human soldier brings tragedy into head ape Caesar's life and a battle for the planet begins. The final installment in the Apes trilogy is a brilliant way to round off the series. A stunning looking, starkly violent, action packed and ultimately uplifting watch. Andy Serkis in the lead does mega work and Woody Harrelson hits the spot as his nemesis.

Apostasy   Sat   24/10   BBC2 @ 22.00

Ivanna, a Jehovah's Witness has her existence thrown into freefall when her daughter Alex breaks the rules of the church and she's forced to shun her. And that's only the start of her troubles. This 2017 examination of one of modern life's harshest religious cults is a tough, upsetting watch but one that plays out without the need for histrionics or melodrama, instead relying on powerful turns from actors like Siobhan Finneran and Molly Wright.

The Brood   Sat   24/10   The Horror Channel @ 22.35

A psychiatrist is using some rather unorthodox techniques to help his patients deal with their issues and the parents of one patient are realising it's doing more harm than good. David Cronenberg's 1979 horror is absolutely bonkers and it's premise will be too much for some to swallow but if you go with it you'll have some horrible, uncomfortable squirmy fun. Oliver Reed brings his usual intensity to bear as the doctor.

A Fantastic Woman   Sun   25/10   CH4 @ 01.20

A transgender woman called Marina living in Santiago, Chile has her life flipped upside down when her older boyfriend passes away suddenly. Sebastián Lelio's 2017 drama is a stunner. A subtle, thoughtful and flawlessly acted look at a life in freefall caused by problems cis folk wouldn't even consider an issue. Danielle Vega as Marina puts in a barnstormer of a performance. This one is well worth staying awake for.

It Could Happen To You   Sun   25/10   Sony Movies @ 23.10

When he can't afford a tip, a cop called Charlie promises a waitress called Yvonne half his winnings if he hits the jackpot in that night's lottery draw. See if you can guess what happens next. Made back in the day before Nicolas Cage's head exploded, this lovely old fashioned Capra-esque comedy drama is a perfect way to spend an afternoon. Himself and Bridget Fonda (I miss her) make a pairing you'll want to see succeed.

A Quiet Place   Mon   26/10   Film4 @ 21.00

In a world where the slightest sound can get you torn asunder a family struggles to survive and thrive. You want your nerves wracked? Well look no further than this full blooded sci-fi horror. Stressful, frightening, inventive and with an absolutely killer final scene. Best of all? It's only 90 minutes long. Jon Krazinski's debut film as director is a success and his onscreen chemistry with his real life wife Emily Blunt is the icing on the cake.

The Guest   Mon   26/10   Sony Movies @ 21.00

A family is totally upended when a war veteran claiming to have been a friend of their dead son turns up at the door and wiggles his way into their life. An entertaining and knowing homage to the action films and home invasion thrillers of the 90's with a little splash of horror thrown in for good measure.  Funny, nasty and totally absurd. This is a pleasing way to spend 2 hrs. Maika Monroe and Dan Stevens are both deadly.

Ocean's 8   Mon   26/10   RTE1 @ 21.30

Debby Ocean is fresh out of jail and itchin' to do some stealin'. Her target - New York's Met Gala. The job - a $150 million dollar necklace. Now she just needs a team to help pull it off. This comedy/crime caper is great fun and far less smug and self satisfied than the franchise that spawned it. Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter are the big draws but it's Awkwafina who steals the show.

Winchester '73   Tues   27/10   Film4 @ 16.30

The first and for me still the best of a series of westerns James Stewart made with director Anthony Mann. Stewart stars as a sharpshooter who's gun is robbed from him and passes through many people's hands during the course of the film. A lovely looking, well paced and very exciting film with a final shootout that is still influencing films today. Watch out for a very young Rock Hudson as a native American!

Red Eye   Tues   27/10   TCM @ 23.05

Lisa is on her way to a funeral by plane when she finds herself sitting beside the charming and talkative Jackson. There's a lot more to Jackson than flirtiness though. Wes Craven's thriller is a tight and taut little film that moves like a race horse and always stays enjoyable even when it strays into very silly territory near the end. Rachel McAdams is an effective heroine and Cillian Murphy as Jackson does well as the blue eyed baddie.

Beware, My Lovely   Wed   28/10   Talking Pictures TV @ 22.00

Ok, it's time for some film noir. Helen has been feeling lonely since the war took her husband and she lets her guard down to invite a handyman to do some work around her house. It doesn't take long before she realises it's a mistake. Ida Lupino and Robert Ryan are first rate in a simple but suspense filled chamber piece that played on post war American fears of being invaded in the place they found the safest.

The Secret of Marrowbone   Wed   28/10   Film4 @ 23.05

The Marrowbones have a....well they have a secret. Their mam has died and if the authorities find out they'll be separated so they cover up her death. But the big house they live in has it's own secrets too. Creepy ones. The ending may make you roll your eyes but the journey there is a fine one. A spooky story filled with gothic overtones and beautiful scenery and a cast including Anya Taylor-Joy, George MacKay and Mia Goth who all do good work.

Big Eyes   Thur   29/10   CH4 @ 02.15

Since she left her husband Margaret has filled her time creating unique works of art and looking after her daughter. Then she meets Walter. Under his friendly facade Walter is a scumbag, a scumbag who likes to take credit for her work. Tim Burton brings his usual sense of oddness to a true story for once and the result is a nice change of pace for him. The wonderful Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz do well in the leading roles.

A Star Is Born   Thur   29/10   BBC4 @ 20.00

The 1954 version. Norman's career is on the ropes, drink has ruined him, but one night he meets a showgirl called Esther and spots a chance to help her and revitalise himself. But Hollywood is an unforgiving place and alcohol is an unforgiving drug. Judy Garland and James Mason are immense in this heartbreaking cautionary tale. It's almost 154 minutes long but you'll be glued to every single one of them.

Re-Animator   Fri   30/10   The Horror Channel @ 22.55

80's horror at its finest in this tale of a mad student scientist who has figured out the secret to re-animating dead flesh. Of course everything goes pear shaped. In the goriest way possible. A very amusing film if you have a strong stomach and a willingness to just go with the bizarre onscreen events. Jeffrey Combs has the role of a lifetime as the man with the plan. Don't watch this if you are easily offended.

Trumbo   Fri   30/10   RTE1 @ 23.25

1947. A dark period in Hollywood. Communist witch hunts are in full flow. Dalton Trumbo refuses to testify against his fellow writers and finds himself in a precarious position because of it. This film might be overly simplifying an important story but Bryan Cranston nails his part as the titular character and it's a solid history lesson for younger viewers. Helen Mirren, Diane Lane and Michael Stuhlberg all add a touch of class.

Train To Busan   Fri   30/10   Film4 @ 23.20

A zombie apocalypse hits South Korea and a father and daughter find themselves fighting for their lives on a train out of Seoul. Yes it's another Zombie no come back......but seriously it's a super watch. It's full of heart and for once you'll genuinely care about the characters being menaced. Plus it's really clever and the attack scenes are astounding. Yoo Gong & Su-an Kim as Dad and Daughter are aces.

If you can give this a retweet I'd much appreciate it. 

Communal watching

Just had a twitter live tweet watch of a piece of shit horror film called Death Ship. It made me realise how much i miss the cinema and the feeling of communal watching. The film was terrible but watching it with others, even remotely, turned it into something entertaining. It's always fun watching something bad being shredded in real time

God i hate this lockdown. 

Thursday, 22 October 2020


Richard Jenkins. One of the most likable actors in Hollywood. When he appears onscreen you smile, you know he's going to be playing someone innately decent and even if it's one of his rare nasty appearances you still know he'll still be enjoyable. Then Kajillionaire, the new drama from Miranda July rocks up and ruins all your preconceived notions about him. 

Old Dolio Dyne (Evan Rachel Wood) has never known tenderness in her life. She's nothing more than business partner to her grifter parents Robert (Richard Jenkins) and Theresa (Debra Winger), used only as the youthful, trustworthy face in their scams. Scams that barely keep them afloat as they eke out a miserable existence on the side streets of LA. 3 months worth of overdue rent has them in trouble and to get the money they come up with a scam that's big time by their standards - pretend to lose their luggage and use travel insurance to get reimbursed. It's also a move that brings Melanie (Gina Rodriguez) into their world. Melanie and Old Dolio are polar opposites, one exuberant and full of joie de vivre and the other introverted, monotone and hiding behind a wall of hair. When 3 becomes 4 the dynamics of the Dyne family change forever.

A lot of people are going to hate this film. It's weird, cringy, seemingly aimless, full of self conscious tics and quirkiness. These are also the things that will make others love it. July's take on the con artist movie breathes a new lease of life into an old tale. There's no big score here but at the end you'll be smiling from ear to ear when people you've come to care about over the last 100 minutes realise there's far more to life than the hunt for green. It's tough watching them coming to terms with the fact that they've been caught in the long con all their lives. At a class Old Dolio takes to earn social welfare she watches a video of a newborn baby bonding with it's mother and it's the start of her realisation. When she sees how people react to the story of how she got her name it's a revelation. When you finally get to a stolen moment at a supermarket checkout you'll be grinning like a fool.

Evan Rachel Wood is immense as Old Dolio. A lifetime's worth of misery is etched into her demeanour. Her parents have crushed her spirit, human interaction is a mystery to her. A free massage is the worst thing in the world in her mind. Yet despite it all Wood drags humour from her situation and her skill with physical comedy is just *chef's kiss*. Playing off her are Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger as the parents you'll love to hate. Self absorbed arseholes, they live for money, finding no problem with ripping off dying oap's or gullible salesmen, they're a pair you'll want to see burn but this film deals with them in a manner that's far more satisfying than that. As Melanie, Gina Rodriguez has a tougher job, initially presenting as an airhead but slowly you realise there's far more to her than meets the eye and thankfully her character doesn't just exist to gum up the Dyne family engine, no, she's another victim of a city that swallows up everything put in front of it.

Los Angeles is the 5th character in this film. It's a horrible place at the best of times, built on empty promises and disposable business relationships and Kajillionaire mirrors it with the Dyne family, all washed out joyless streets and periodic earthquake rumbles to keep them on their toes. It's during one of these quakes that revelations comes spilling forth and a main character comes to life in a way that will have you alternating between watching through your fingers and laughter. Despite the potential darkness of the story there's a lot of laughs here. The avoidance of a landlord, a halfhearted kinda sorta parkour technique, a man with no emotional filter, the Dyne's exceedingly bizarre living circumstances. It's a blend of comedy and drama that helps us peer into the parts of life happening behind doors we'd pass in the street without even noticing, a look at the inner lives of the disenfranchised and forgotten. It's great.

Kajillionaire is streaming online now. It's really worth your time.

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

A perfect pairing of sound & vision. Grace Jones in Vamp

The 80's were kind of a wasteland for the horror genre. The decade was awash with identikit slasher movies that did the same thing over and over again in a way that eventually drove audiences away in droves. Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees ruled the roost. They were fun at first but the novelty tailed off fast. A few gems shone through like The Thing, Day Of The Dead, Society, The Stuff, Life Force, The Shining and Stuart Gordon's Re-Animator but mostly the 80's are remembered for slasher guff or bad Stephen King adaptions. One horror movie subsection that faded fast in the 80's was the vampire movie but 1985's Fright Night was the start of a resurgence that saw it, The Lost Boys, The Monster Squad, Near Dark and (groan) Elvira all appear one after another. Most are still remembered fondly to this day but one that has more or less vanished in the fog of time is Vamp. 

It's the story of three  college students who find themselves in a strip club one night in search of a dancer they can hire to help them make a name for themselves on campus. The club is in the dodgy part of town and the dancers onstage are even dodgier. They've a taste for blood and the 3 students are on the menu. But first a dancer called Katrina has to lure them in. 

The video is below. No nudity.

A weird and unsettling scene for sure but a kind of mesmeric one too. Yes, she is dancing to the sound of her own voice by the way. Those eyes, that Geisha face paint, the off kilter editing, the dutch tilts all clue you into to the fact that something is not right here. The students came to leer but she's reeled them in and by the time she becomes one with the chair she's dancing on they're sold. And so are we.


Previous pairings


Tuesday, 20 October 2020

The Secrets We Keep

Imagine it. It's a sunny day. You're in the park with your family. You feel safe and loved. You couldn't be more relaxed and you have not a care in the world. Then you hear a voice, there's a timbre to it you've heard somewhere before. You turn to look and there's something very familiar about it's source, a memory you've pushed to the back of your mind. Then it hits you and your world lurches sideways and all you can hear is your blood pounding in your ears. The past comes rushing back and with it all the horror you've repressed for years. The Secrets We Keep is all about what happens next.

Maja (Noomi Rapace) has made a lovely home for herself in America. The horror of the 40's is in the past and the 1950's American post war boom is in full flow. She has job, a loving husband (Chris Messina) and a son. A vision from the past (Joel Kinnaman) then rips her world apart, forcing her to face a horror she's pushed down for nearly a decade. Following the person she realises he's now a neighbour and this jolts her into action because Maja has decided to never live in fear again.

The Secrets We Keep isn't an enjoyable watch or a good one really but it drags some suspense out of a tale of a woman regaining her agency and facing the demons of her past. If you've seen Sigourney Weaver's 1994 movie Death And The Maiden you'll have an idea of what's ahead of you here. It's a story about dealing with trauma, how leaving it unresolved will always mar your life and how facing it head on will help you escape the past. But to it's credit it's no simple revenge picture because here we have our characters facing the potential ripple effects of revenge, how it will affect their future and the family of the man involved. It's a story that will leave you pondering what you'd do in that situation, instead of just sitting there slack jawed as usual.

It's just a pity it's all so colourless and awkwardly written. Kinnaman's character Stowe, vehemently denies any wrong doing throughout but he's so shifty that you'll never believe him so the film just goes through the motions until inevitably truths are spilled. It's only when he gets the upper hand that the film comes to life some bit but then it's flattened again swiftly by the intervention of clueless neighbours and cops who can't seem to or willfully ignore clues staring them in the face. The plot can only move one way here and papering over the cracks with stupidity isn't helping anyone. Then we get the ending which might be called divisive by some and unearned and cheap by others. Go with the latter, it's more apt. You can see the angle writer/director Yuval Adler is going for but it just ends up pissing all over everything that came before it. This story deserved than this.

It's annoying too because Rapace and Messina do decent work as a couple facing one hell of a crisis. The pain stretched across her face, utter bewilderment across his. Had the film been brave enough to let their characters move the story forward instead of relying on silly plot points then this could have been worthwhile. Now it will just be another forgotten streaming film in a terrible year for cinema.

Monday, 19 October 2020

Yet more comfort watching


There's a lot of comfort watching going on in this casa lately and tonight you'd really need something to hit the spot. Brian De Palma's 1993 masterpiece will do just that.

Why this film hasn't the acclaim other gangster films have is beyond me. It's perfect. Fun, perfectly paced, brilliantly acted, insanely suspenseful, full of deadly De Palma touches like long takes, dutch tilts and split diopter shots and all built around a character far more likable than your Henry Hill's or Michael Corleone's. Pacino is on fire here. From the very start you know he's doomed yet still throughout, no matter how many times you've seen it, there's still that glimmer of hope that he'll survive. And he never does and it's a killer.

And yeah that makes it an odd choice for a comfort watch but everything leading up to it is just perfect. Sean Penn's ridiculous hair, that poolroom scene, rooftop flower duet, the cheesecake seduction, murder on the east river and the ending, one of the best chase scenes ever committed to film.

I'm wrapped in a fleece blanket watching this now and I'm sipping a cold cherry pepsi max and feeling way too comfortable about facing into a 6 week level 5 lockdown. Movies got us through the last one and they'll get us through this one too.

Stay safe motherfuckers. 

Sunday, 18 October 2020

Love And Monsters

You can't beat a decent bit of world building in movies. If it's done right it can make even the silliest story feel believable. In Love And Monsters we get our hero wandering through a landscape littered with the detritus of a destroyed civilisation in the wake of a war between man and monster. Nature has taken back over, wind turbines have been turned into mossy towers, crashed fighter jets peak out of the ground, grotesque gigantic carcasses dot the countryside. Everything useful has been scavenged, cars, buildings are empty and what remains of humanity has retreated underground to bunkers, sewers, eking out an existence but not a life. Within minutes, Love And Monsters deftly sketches out the world of the future, making what comes next a lot easier to swallow.

Agatha 616, a life ending asteroid, is heading towards earth and the superpowers join hands to take it out. The world's combined nuclear arsenal is launched and the space rock is destroyed successfully but all that combined radiation rains back down transforming the planet's fauna into massive, vicious terrors that wipe out 99% of the world's population in mere weeks. The survivors hide out underground for years and their numbers are slowly dwindling. One of them, Joel Dawson (Dylan O'Brien, a great lead) has just discovered his girlfriend Aimee (Jessica Henwick), is still alive in another survivor colony near the Californian coastline. He wants to get to her but surviving on the surface is going to be a nightmare.

Love And Monsters was supposed to get a cinema release earlier this year but bastard covid19 rocked up and ruined everyone's plans. Instead it's gotten a belated online release meaning it's not going to do a fraction of the business it deserves and that's a pity because it's a charmer of a film. It's got it all. Love! and Monsters! A perfect pairing really. It's a very enjoyable watch, surprising considering how dark it sounds but light direction from Michael Matthews and a winning lead in Dylan O'Brien will have you loving it. It's a film that takes it's title seriously and one that wastes no time dishing out the goods, by the time the opening credits are done we have the backstory and within minutes we have the motivation and we're off. 

In his colony Joel isn't taken seriously, while the others are in monster killing mode, he's milking cows and making minestrone soup and now he's on a mission of his own. Watching him turning from a mouse into a lion over the course of the story is a joy and telegraphed plot points that would annoy normally, here become sources of giddy anticipation. Michael Rooker (who usually plays scary characters is sound here. I'd have liked to have seen a lot more of him tbh) plays Clyde, a man he meets on the way who teaches him how to survive on the surface, and everything he learns plays off in surprising ways with one lesson especially adding a nice sense of tenderness to the films climax. Tenderness, not something you'd normally expect to see in a monster movie but there's a solid streak of it throughout Love And Monsters. A quiet chat with a robot who allows a glimpse into the past, a new friendship with an old favourite, a night full of sky jellies (!) soundtracked by a classic song, a much appreciated hug in a world devoid of them. Little touches that give this film a beating heart........and people to worry about. 

Then there's the monsters. The ones here are recognisable but horribly twisted like house sized toads with a taste for human flesh, killer worms, gigantic snails and crabs. They're all CGI creations as is par for the course these days but there's a gooey tangibility to them that will make you shudder. They aren't flat out terrifying now, more Jurassic Park scary meaning you'll have fun with this instead of hiding behind your hands. It's one to enjoy with the family, there's no blood or guts, very little swearing and a couple of real life lessons to be learned. It's apocalyptic overtones might sound like hard work in 2020 but there's a great sense of optimism on display here, it never wallows in the darkness of it's story and the final words in the film are ones of hope. We all appreciate that these days.

Love And Monsters is streaming online now. I really liked it.

Saturday, 17 October 2020

16 films on TV this week to help you keep the head down and keep you out of trouble

Jackie Brown   (15)   Sat   17/10   Dave @ 21.00

An air hostess arrested for smuggling money finds herself caught between a drug dealer and the law and decides to make things work for herself. Arguably Quentin Tarantino's most accomplished and mature film to date.This lacks the blood & fireworks of his earlier films but makes up for it with glorious dialogue and acting and a super cast including Pam Grier as Jackie with Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster, Bridget Fonda & Robert De Niro in fine supporting form.

In Her Shoes   (12)  Sat   17/10   TG4 @ 21.20

Maggie and Rose are sisters but they couldn't be any more different if they tried. A drunken indiscretion finally rips them apart but could an address and a name from the past be the thing that finally unites them? This humane, honest and very watchable comedy drama nails the sibling relationship in a way few others do and that's down to two pitch perfect performances (wicked alliteration there) from Toni Collette and Cameron Diaz.

In The Heat Of The Night   (12)   Sun   18/10   BBC2 @ 00.10

Mr Corbett has been killed. Mr Tibbs arrives to investigate his murder. Mr Corbett died in the Deep South. Mr Tibbs is Black. The Deep South doesn't like Mr Tibbs. This is a classic that lives up to the name. Draped in a sweltering atmosphere this crime drama will hook you from the off with 2 stunning turns from Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger. Sadly it's still a very topical watch that will enrage you as much as it entertains you.

The Natural   (PG)   Sun   18/10   Sony Movies @ 03.00

Using a bat he created out of a tree struck by lightning a young man appears out of nowhere to take the world of baseball by storm in the depression struck 1930's. A magical paean to one of the famous American sports led by a first rate turn from Robert Redford. You don't have to like baseball to enjoy this one. Just lay back and let it and that famous soundtrack wash over you. Oh and wait til you see that supporting cast. 

Detroit   (15)   Sun   18/10   BBC2 @ 22.00

Detroit, Michigan. The Algiers motel. 1967. A group of teenagers get caught up in the aftermath of a race riot and have the misfortune to come into contact with a group of police officers. Based on real life this Kathryn Bigelow drama is a harsh, tense look at race relations in the US of A. John Boyega and a very unsettling Will Poulter lead a cast full of faces you'll recognise. Not a film you could enjoy but an important one.

The Desperate Hours   (PG)   Sun   18/10   Talking Pictures TV @ Midnight

3 scumbags are on the run following a prison break and they hold up in a house belonging to the Hilliard family while they wait for the next part of their plan to arrive. This film is 65 years old and it's still a nail bitingly suspenseful watch due to a hateful and unpredictable turn from a sweaty and nervous Humphrey Bogart. A movie that will leave you thinking about what you'd do for your family in the same situation. So much better than the 90's remake.

The Ladykillers   (PG)   Mon   19/10   Film4 @ 16.55

A motley crew of criminals pretend to be musicians so they can kill a little old lady and rob a bank. Things do not go to plan. Not one bit. Another classic from Ealing studios and one of the funniest English films ever made. This is a film that will make you laugh, proper big belly laughs. It's so much fun and with a killer cast to boot. Alec Guinness in the lead just nails it, and why wouldn't he be with top notch support from Peter Sellers and Herbert Lom.

Double Jeopardy   (15)  Mon   19/10   TG4 @ 22.05

Libby and Nick have the ideal life until one day Nick disappears from their boat and a blood covered Libby is blamed for his murder. But all is not what it seems. It never is, is it. A splash of Hitchcock, a touch of film noir and a whole load of b-movie pulp mix well together and the result is this movie. Its a predictable enough watch but two nicely judged showings from Ashley Judd and Tommy Lee Jones help things to chug along well.

Been So Long   (15)   Tues   20/10   Film4 @ 21.00

Simone doesn't get out much these days. Her daughter is sick and she's a caring mother. But a rare night out with friends sounds promising and gets better when she meets Raymond. But might he be trouble? Michaela Cole who was amazing recently in I May Destroy You is a charming & well drawn lead in this likable London set musical drama. A subplot about a dangerous young man feels wedged in but the main story is so good you won't care.

I Am Not Your Negro   (15)   Tues   20/10   BBC4 @ 23.05

A documentary about the history of racism in the United States and what it means to be born Black in a country that hates you. It's tough going and contains some very upsetting archival footage but it's a necessary watch because there's still such a way to go over there in terms of race politics. Narrator Samuel. L. Jackson conveys writer James Baldwin's words superbly. The most important thing you'll watch this week.

Beau Geste   (PG)   Wed   21/10   TCM @ 01.45

3 adopted brothers who live in high society London finds themselves in the French foreign legion after a priceless family heirloom goes missing. Gary Cooper, Ray Milland and Robert Preston play the siblings and all hit the spot. A big epic film about the meaning of brotherhood. The story is compelling, the characters are great and as it was shot on location in the desert it looks fantastic too. A quintessential rainy day film that's showing at silly o'clock

Carlito's Way   (18)   Wed   21/10   ITV4 @ 22.30

Carlito Brigante is out of jail and he's staying out. But for a man raised on the streets of Spanish Harlem that's a lot easier said than done. Brian De Palma's 1993 crime drama is a masterpiece, at once exciting, suspenseful, brutal and seeped in a sense of sadness about what could have been. Al Pacino is at the top of his game here and gets excellent back up from Luis Guzman, Penelope Ann Miller and a venal Sean Penn.

Quadrophenia   (15)   Thur   22/10   TCM @ 23.05

Jimmy hates his life and is only happy when he's on his scooter and surrounded by his mod friends. One day they take a faithful trip to the South coast of England and his life changes forever. A true classic from an age when youth subcultures were still very much a thing. A look at life's high peaks and deep deep valleys led by an angry and raw Phil Daniels. Sting as Ace Face is flawless as disappointment personified.

Tin Star   (PG)   Thur   22/10   Film4 @ 12.50

A bounty hunter arrives into a town on the edge of falling into a violent abyss. The sheriff's been killed and a trainee is in his place. The young man needs help badly but will the jaded, cynical bounty hunter do the right thing? You can always count on an Anthony Mann western to get the job done and this one does in spades. Tense, intelligent, filled with proper characters and sadly mostly forgotten these days. Henry Fonda and Anthony Perkins do well leading a cast of genre faces you'll recognise.

Unless   (15)   Fri   23/10   RTE2 @ 22.00

In snowy Toronto a well off family's life is thrown into upheaval when they discover their daughter has dropped out of college and is now living in a shelter and spending her days sitting on the streets. Irish director Alan Gilsenan's 2016 film is a heartfelt tale that's prone to pretension in places but a stunner of a turn from the always brilliant Catherine Keener as a heartbroken mam will keep you watching until the end.

Get On Up   (12)   Fri   23/10   BBC2 @ 23.30

The story of  James Brown, told in a fractured narrative, from his poverty stricken childhood in the 1930's through his successful 60's and 70's to his trouble filled later years. Lead actor Chadwick Boseman sadly died in August and here we get to see how good he could be when he wasn't obscured by masks or CGI. This is a fine watch, filled with some wicked tunes that thankfully is afraid of showing all the sides of the man it's about.

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