Short Film Review: Rainy Season (2017)

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Director: Vanessa Ionta Wright

Starring: Brian Ashton Smith, Anne-Marie Kennedy, Kermit Rolison, Jan Nelson

By way of introduction, Rainy Season was made as part of Stephen King’s Dollar Baby program. For those who haven’t heard of this, Stephen King provides filmmakers the opportunity to adapt his work for a dollar, albeit with caveats – these films can only be shown as part of film festivals and no money can be made from them. There are some other narrow times the film can be viewed and one of those is for review purposes. These are meant to help upstart filmmakers adapt a known work for a very low cost thereby allowing artists to hone their skills.

The actual short story, Rainy Season, is located in Mr. King’s compilation Nightmares & Dreamscapes. Continue reading

Digital Review: Cell (2016)

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Cell DVD CoverDistributor: Signature Entertainment

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Tod Williams

Starring: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Isabelle Fuhrman, Stacy Keach

Cell, the latest Stephen King novel adaptation sees John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson reunited on the big screen. This is their second pairing after their Dolphin Hotel roles in 2007’s 1408. Personally I really enjoyed 1408 and was looking forward to Cell; Two powerhouse actors in a modern techno zombie-like movie – what’s not to love? On paper the possibilities were endless so let’s see what happened in actuality.

Like 1408 and almost nearly all King adaptations there are some striking differences between the movie and the book. This is not necessarily a deal breaker provided the movie gives us a coherent script Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: Knightriders (1981)

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Knightriders BR CoverDistributor: Arrow Video

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: George A. Romero

Starring: Ed Harris, Gary Lahti, Patricia Tallman, Amy Ingersoll, Tom Savini, Ken Foree, Christine Forrest, John Amplas, Martin Ferrero, Scott H. Reiniger, Joe Pilato, Stephen King

Having become known as a horror director – which isn’t surprising considering his main body of work until that point consisted of Night of the Living Dead, The Crazies, Martin and Dawn of the Dead – in 1981 George A. Romero changed direction and made Knightriders which, despite using many of the same cast members as his zombie films, features no gut-munching, bullets to the head or severed limbs. It does, however, feature grown men dressed as knights and knocking each other off motorbikes with very long poles.

Billy (Ed Harris – The Rock) is the leader of a troupe of motorcycling jousters who travel around the country performing battles. Calling himself King William, Billy lives by a strict code of conduct as he plays out his Arthurian fantasies but his overpowering manner doesn’t play well with his colleagues as the outside influences of the modern day begin to Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: Creepshow (1982)

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Creepshow BR CoverDistributor: Second Sight Films

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: George A. Romero

Starring: Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Stephen King, Ed Harris, Ted Danson, Leslie Nielsen, E.G. Marshall, John Amplas, Gaylen Ross, Fritz Weaver, Joe Hill, Bingo O’Malley, Tom Savini

The horror anthology has had something of a renaissance in recent years, with the likes of Trick ‘r Treat, Tales of Halloween, the V/H/S films and the overly-ambitious The ABC’s of Death plus its sequel all being received to mixed results but proving that the style is still a viable one. Creepshow is one of the better known horror anthologies from the past, originally coming out at a time when the format had dried up a little bit after the run of successful portmanteau films of the 1960s and ’70s from the likes of Amicus Productions and the burgeoning home video market was beginning to take off, and Continue reading

TV Movie: Big Driver (2014)

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Big Driver posterDistributor: Lifetime Television (USA)

Rating: TV-14 (USA)

Director: Mikael Salomon

Starring: Maria Bello, Ann Dowd, Will Harris, Joan Jett, Olympia Dukakis

Stephen King has always had a revolting habit of using words to play on our fears. However, his works not only make us wonder what goes bump in the night but also point to the ills of our society and encourage us to examine them in very uncomfortable ways. King’s novella Big Driver and its made-for-TV movie adaptation are once again pointing that unflinching finger at society and how it deals, or rather does not deal, with assault on women. This story first appeared in the Full Dark, No Stars collection and recently aired in the US on the Lifetime network. Continue reading