Tuesday, 28 August 2012


USA: Various Directors, 2012 (Created by Aaron Sorkin)

IMDB reference

Monday, 27 August 2012


France: Maïwenn, 2011

IMDB reference

Based on real cases, POLISSE follows the actions and experiences of members of the Child Protection Unit in the Parisian police force. Awarded the 'Jury Prize' at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, POLISSE merges documentary-like realism with a fragmented narrative akin to an art-house sensibility.

Instead of being a case by case procedural, the film purposely thwarts our knowledge of the children who fall victim to abuse or the conclusive guilt of the accused adults. Instead, the film breathlessly shifts the focus onto the members of the 'CPU' and spreads a broad canvass to give us glimpses into their lives on and off the job. Perhaps unsurprisingly due to the difficult job they do, we witness the camaraderie and commitment to one another each of the 'CPU' officers have. We see how they let off steam and the challenges each of them faces in trying to lead a 'normal' life away from the office.

Audience expectation is also tested by the film's graphic dialogue which is surprisingly often played for gallows humour not dissimilar to that which you might find in a hospital ward. A genuinely laugh out loud moment, despite the horrendous circumstances, occurs during the interview of a teenage girl who has subjected herself to abuse for the sake of her smartphone. However, POLISSE also plays it serious and on more than one occasion I found this film incredibly hard to take due to the raw human emotion it encaptures in a couple of scenes.

The acting is universally superb with Karin Viard as Nadine demonstrating impressive emotional range plus killer comedic timing and Marina Fois brings conviction to the psychologically haranged Iris. However, Joey Starr (reportedly known to child protection agencies in his own life) as Fred is the film's real stand out. Flawed, vulnerable and personally invested in every case he brings power and pathos to every scene. Perhaps less successful is his on-screen romance with photographer Melissa (played by director and co-writer Maiwenn) which seems fleeting and under developed: an issue one could level at the film itself in places.

The Count's Verdict: Dramatically gripping and darkly comic, POLISSE manages to pull you into the lives of a band of people struggling to cope with the grim realities of child protection whilst never taking the easy route of treating the material in a sensationalist manner. Still be warned, there are a couple scenes which are very difficult to sit through and you may find yourself wishing for more conventional resolution in order to move on.

Sunday, 26 August 2012


USA: Joseph Kahn, 2011

IMDB reference

Another late screening I missed at FrightFest 2011, watching DETENTION at home on the small screen I can't help but think this would've have been more enjoyable with a crowd. Written (along with Mark Palermo) and directed by Joseph Kahn this post-modern-postmodern slasher fires reference after reference at you: often visually and verbally at the same time. Undoubtedly, dynamic and even anarchic in the best possible way DETENTION starts at a frantic pace and never stops for air.

Now I like a movie or cultural reference as much as the next man and this film delivers them in spades - in fact I don't mind admitting I probably missed more than I got - but there's always the danger of that self-reflexiveness becoming something akin to visual and aural noise. Thankfully, DETENTION has some likeable characters, impressive digital effects and the odd gory death to safe it from the void.

The Count's Verdict: I've heard DETENTION described as the film SCREAM 4 should've been and I can certainly get on board with that. However, it still doesn't alter the fact that often slavish fixation on all things meta is largely superficial and dated at its inception no matter how knowing or fun the enterprise.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

BRAVE ***½

USA: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman and Steve Purcell, 2012

IMDB reference

Everyone seems to be talking about BRAVE in relation to its superiority over Pixar's last film CARS 2. Now whilst I don't feel that film was the travesty many claim, I concur with the logic that it felt alarmingly anonymous to the point of being interchangeable with the glut of studio produced animated dross which is now churned out year on year.

BRAVE promised a return to Pixar's basics: a new and originally conceived idea brought to fruition by a team of talented filmmakers helmed by a new talent from within. Written by Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi and directed by Andrews, Chapman and Purcell - BRAVE tells the story of Scottish Princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald) and her efforts to rebel against the expectations of her mother Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson).

Set against breathtaking vistas of the Scottish highlands (reportedly Pixar rewrote their animation software in order to fully realise such complex animation) the familiar tale of child and parent tension is interspersed with flashbacks to historic clan-folklore and elements of the supernatural.

However, despite this supposed originality BRAVE feels more like the work of other animation studios. The music, plot structure and on-the nose sentimentality (a character even spells out the character arc of change by saying 'We both have'... yuck!) all smacks of parent company Disney. But perhaps more worryingly the film's humour and characterisation (particularly in the design and portrayal of Billy Connolly's Fergus) at times made me feel as though I was watching a DreamWorks film like HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON.

Ultimately, whatever it's flaws BRAVE is another fine example of the lush and rich animation Pixar can create. It has likeable characters and a fun diverting plot which entertains more than the much derided CARS 2. Although, I cannot say BRAVE is an unqualified success: expectation plays a big part and for a group of filmmakers who have produced masterpieces such as TOY STORY, WALL-E and UP putting out a merely 'good' film is now inevitably problematic.

The Count's Verdict: Kudos to Pixar for returning to an original idea after recent and planned sequels, however, the execution never reaches the emotional maturity or story-telling majesty of their best work. Has this animation studio's unrivalled 'golden-age' now come to an end?

Friday, 24 August 2012


USA: Drake Doremus, 2011

IMDB reference

Having heard mixed reviews about LIKE CRAZY despite its festival acclaim (winning the 'Grand Jury Prize' at Sundance) I wasn't sure what to expect from director Drake Doremus' film.

Starring young British actress Felicity Jones as Anna and Anton Yelchin as Jacob (TERMINATOR SALVATION, STAR TREK) the film follows the triumphs and turmoil of the on/off relationship the pair share having met as students in LA. With its intimate plot, naturalistic low-key aesthetic and improvised dialogue LIKE CRAZY mines familiar romantic territory to that of other American indies such as IN SEARCH OF A MIDNIGHT KISS, BEFORE SUNRISE and perhaps most successfully BEFORE SUNSET.

The pacing is slow and to begin I found it difficult to engage with the characters. Undoubtedly, my age played a part as I felt removed from the lives of these two students and that their romance lacked gravitas. However, as the story progressed and the film began to broaden its canvass to include themes such as enforced separation, other loves, parents and isolation in a foreign country it slowly but surely got its hooks into me.

The cast is fantastic with the two leads having never been better despite the odd duff line and they are brilliantly supported by the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Alex Kingston and Charlie Bewley. Soon these performances and the fact the film has the sense to make the other partners which crop up in the lives of Anna and Jacob likeable in their own right help to invest you in their predicament. Indeed, for every aspect of a relationship (long distance or otherwise) it misses it hits two more lending LIKE CRAZY a level of emotional authenticity far beyond my expectations.

The film's stylistic flourishes using lots of close-ups, lingering slow takes accompanied by repetitive minimalist instrumental music may not be to everyone's liking but I found the culminating effect to be quite enchanting. Moreover, the scenes shot on the London underground and the film's closing montage was enough to bring tears to my eyes.

The Count's Verdict: Possibly not for everyone and even with its flaws LIKE CRAZY repays the viewer what you put in. At its best LIKE CRAZY has moments where images and sound combine to resonate in a deeply emotive way. One of my genuine surprises of the year.

Thursday, 23 August 2012


USA: Jourdan McClure, 2012

IMDB reference

This was another FrightFest 2011 omission on my part (I was off in the Disco Screen watching Paul Naschy doc THE MAN WHO MADE FRANKENSTEIN CRY) and with heinsight, having now seen ROGUE RIVER , I can't say I regret skipping it.

After a brief but potentially all too revealing pre-credit sequence which shows us a climatic scene from the end of the film, this low-budget US exploitation flick begins in an ok manner with a very sparse score accompanying aerial shots (think THE SHINING) of a car snaking its way across the landscape.

We soon learn that Mara (Michelle Page) is visiting the titular 'Rogue River' to scatter the remains of her deceased father. However, Mara is prevented from doing so by seemingly harmless busybody Jon (Bill Moseley) due to lack of a permit. Various plot contrivances ensue to establish the set-up of Mara being kept against her will in the home of the unhinged Jon and his sister/lover Lea (Lucinda Jenney).

The problem is you simply don't care as it all feels so derivative and plodding. The writing and pace isn't the film's only flaw as fatally the lead, Michelle Page, lacks any discernible charisma or screen presence resulting in clunky lines of dialogue being delivered in an equally tepid manner. Sadly, Mara's plight and failed attempts at escape only managed to raise my wrist to check the time rather than raise my pulse.

As the full homicidal lunacy of the her captors is revealed the body count rises but despite the best efforts of Moseley and Jenney I found their tyranny to be a bore rather than a threat. Seemingly aware that despite its short 80 minute running time the plot is running out of ideas the script then throws in an attempted shock twist that made me audibly groan with disdain. Not only is this knowingly tabboo reveal in bad taste it is rendered almost mute by the fact many other recent horror films have also done something similar in a far more effective way.

The film doesn't even have the grace to end where we begin as it not only replays the film's pre-credit sequence, it then has a very ill-judged coda whereby the nonsensical revelation alluded to earlier is taken then to a conclusion which leaves a bitter taste in your mouth - couched as it is in an idea of far greater significance than it deserves.

The Count's Verdict: You've literally scene everything in ROGUE RIVER before but done with far more imagination and craft. Don't bother with it.


Original Title: X
Australia: Jon Hewitt, 2011

IMDB reference

I became aware of this little Aussie exploitation film via Ben and Dan’s Mondo Movie podcast and made a mental note to seek it out. Having now had the chance to see the film I’m glad I took the trouble as it holds interest beyond the mere titillation of being a film about Sydney’s prostitutes.

Perhaps most obviously described as a ‘witness on the run’ movie – see Almodóvar's DARK HABITS or even the mainstream SISTER ACT for previous forays into this familiar premise – X: NIGHT OF VENGEANCE has a simple set-up in which Holly (Viva Bianca) and Shay (Hanna Mangan Lawrence) witness a murder whilst on a job and their attempts to flee the murderer thereafter.

The obligatory scenes of nudity, violence and action akin to the genre are all present. However, where the film really excels is in its focus on the disparate experiences of these two sex workers both before and after their fatal meeting. Moreover, the two female leads are able to deliver dramatically engaging performances which energises the film beyond its sensationalist roots.

That’s not to say anything profound or of high artistic merit is achieved or aimed for by director and co-script writer Jon Hewitt. The plot is bound to a large degree to the ensuing chase. The supporting cast is rather bland. The photography is uneven: looking cheap and amateurish in some nocturnal exterior scenes and impressively stylistic in others – a particularly effective scene occurs when Shay is pursued through a nightclub, her pallid oval shaped face alight with bright red hues. Although the fact Hewitt, his DP Mark Pugh and editor Cindy Clarkson try to evoke the ghost of De Palma though use of split-screen (albeit lacking the sub-textual richness and geographical mastery of De Palma’s best work) only makes me look on this film’s merits all the more favourably.

The Count’s Verdict: X: NIGHT OF VENGEANCE is an exploitation movie which not only delivers in the T&A department it also invests you in the plight of its co-protagonists. The balance between being invited to ogle at the women as well as identify with their predicament may not be unproblematic but whatever the filmmakers’ intent they have certainly crafted a far better film than the poster suggests. See it!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


USA/UK/Spain: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, 2011

IMDB reference

INTRUDERS begins in Spain with a lot of promise: the everyday ritual of a mother putting her young son to bed is effectively underscored by a brooding sense of menace revolving around a child’s imagination, fantasy and monsters. The ensuing materialisation of this threat is expected but no less creepy despite some rather lacklustre CGI.

Cue the opening credits and an abrupt shift to London for no discernible reason other than this appears to be a British and Spanish co-production. The rather plodding plot then focuses on John and Susana Farrow (Clive Owen and Carice van Houten) and their daughter Mia (NEVER LET ME GO’s Ella Purnell). The atmosphere and tension picks up again momentarily as she too begins to be stalked by the same hallucinatory figure (dubbed ‘The Hollow Man’) we first glimpsed in Spain.

Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo then attempts to tell us two parallel stories through sequences alternating between Spain and England. This only serves to make me want to give up on the blandness of the Farrow plotline and stay in Spain where Father Antonio (Daniel Brühl) is investigating the plight of Luisa (Pilar López de Ayala) and her son Juan (Izán Corchero). Whilst not doing anything new: images and sound design compliment the appearances of ‘The Hollow Man’ hinting at a potential which sadly the film lacks the budget and creativity to deliver on.

As the film progresses it also loses all momentum and a fine international cast is not able to elevate the material as the plot becomes more generic, clichéd and downright silly the more it attempts to tie the Spanish and British storylines together.

Ultimately, INTRUDERS is an easily forgettable film likely only to leave you with the lasting impression that young actress Ella Purnell – albeit not really ask to do much here - is surely a star of the future.

The Count’s Verdict: Starts strong but soon becomes indistinguishable from the glut of modern horror stories told from the point of view of a child’s imagination. Has fleeting moments of genuine unease but the impact is overshadowed by the baggy and perfunctory storytelling. The talented cast are unable to lift what is a disappointingly mediocre script. Don’t go out of your way to see this as there’s superior material on the same theme already out there.

Monday, 20 August 2012


USA: Jay Roach, 2012

IMDB reference

It's probably fair to say I've only had a passing interest in US politics in recent years and am largely uninformed of the intricacies of presidential campaigns. Obviously, the historic dimension of the 2008 appointment of Barack Obama wasn't lost on me and I do recall the furore surrounding Republican presidential candidate John McCain's running partner - Governor Sarah Palin.

However, most of my insight was gleaned from the popular spoof of her various faux pais by comedian Tina Fey on TV show 'Saturday Night Live' which rather pleasingly find their way into this film. This comedic element hints at the more personable and less stuffy approach director Jay Roach and HBO have taken with the material.

Based on a book written by two political journalists (Mark Halperin and John Heilemann) GAME CHANGE focusses on the experience of would-be vice president Sarah Palin as she is taken from political obscurity in Alaska and thrust into the media spotlight. Julianne Moore delivers a fine impersonation of the real-life Palin deftly mimicking her tone of voice, gestures and ticks. Roach's film convincingly mixes reconstruction and archive footage inviting us into the mindset of his slightly deranged anti-heroine.

Moore is ably supported by Ed Harris as Senator John McCain and a superb Woody Harrelson as campaign strategist Steve Schmidt. Not only are the performances excellent but the hair and make-up is genuinely impressive for what is fundamentally a 'made-for-tv' movie.

Overall, the film's main thrust is in setting up the balance of power and its oscillation between Palin and Schmidt as the latter increasingly loses his influence over the maverick rookie. The satire is more subtle than scathing (although Palin and McCain have both claimed the film to be inaccurate despite neither having watched it) and nothing of any real significance is bestowed about American politics or the individuals involved. Although I found GAME CHANGE to be mildly diverting, unpretentious and well acted entertainment.

The Count's Verdict: If you have the slightest interest in Sarah Palin or the media fall out that ensued around her in the 2008 US presidential campaign you'll find HBO's GAME CHANGE breezy but slight viewing. Moreover, if you're a fan of either Ed Harris, Julianne Moore or Woody Harrelson there's plenty to enjoy here as all are on fine form.

Saturday, 18 August 2012


Germany/Canada: Larysa Kondracki, 2010

IMDB reference

This film seems to have slipped under the radar somewhat having been shot in 2010 but only being released in the UK on DVD and Blu-ray earlier ths year. With such a recognisible cast (Rachel Weisz, Vanessa Redgrave, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Strathairn, Monica Bellucci and Liam Cunningham) one must ask the question of why wasn't this film released theatrically? Without speculating about the distribution rights surrounding this German-Canadian co-production, perhaps a clue to THE WHISTLEBLOWER's 'straight-to-video' fate can be found in the rather muted merits of the film itself.

Rather unfortunately labelled a 'thriller' THE WHISTLEBLOWER is inspired by the events of real-life UN International Police officer Kathryn Bolkovac and her efforts to raise awareness of human trafficking in post-war Bosnia. Thus director and co-writer Larysa Kondracki's film must wrestle to find a balance between authenticity and entertainment.

It is hard to doubt the earnestness of the film and its intentions to engage the spectator in the humanity surrounding such a serious issue. Both Weisz as Bolkovac - the officer outcast by her peers as she risks everything to reveal the truth - and young actress Roxana Condurache - portraying the plight of one of the enslaved women - deliver committed performances. Indeed, the narrative hits the expected beats of corruption, exploitation and human suffering.

However, in keeping to its roots of re-telling a true story, one never really feels they've gained anything from this filmic experience. The result is a film that lacks the characterisation and intimacy needed for great drama or the action fuelled excitement akin to a thriller.

Ultimately, you sit through a near 2-hour film conscious of the passage of time and leave with what you brought in: human trafficking is bad and people who profit from it are vile but all too often are able to get away with it.

The Count's Verdict: Worth seeking out for the important message the film conveys although its telling doesn't always make for a great film.

Friday, 17 August 2012


USA/France/Canada: Jeremy Kasten, Richard Stanley, Buddy Giovinazzo, Tom Savini,Douglas Buck, Karim Hussain and David Gregory, 2011

IMDB reference

This was one of two horror anthologies (the lacklustre CHILLERAMA was the other) which I was gutted to miss at FrightFest 2011 due to their twilight screening hour and my need to catch the last train home.

Having finally caught up with THE THEATRE BIZARRE its some way short of previous FrightFest fave TRICK 'R TREAT but a welcome addition to the modern portmanteau horror film nonetheless.

The film is bookended by an effective wraparound story revolving around a silent female spectator drawn into an abandoned and eerily strange cinema - the titular 'Theatre Bizarre' - where upon genre icon Udo Kier acts as our guide introducing each of the film's five tales (Mother of Toads, I Love You, Wet Dreams, The Accident, Vision Stains and Sweets).

Like most omnibus films not all the stories work and are of varying quality in terms of directing, photography, acting, effects, plot etc. First up we have 'Mother of Toads' - perhaps only notable for having Fulci 'scream queen' Catriona MacColl hamming it up as a French Lovecraftian crack-pot. Things soon improve - particularly in the writing and acting department - with 'I Love You'. Bleak it may be but full of memorable darkly heart-breaking dialogue. 'Wet Dreams' serves up Tom Savini as a shrink and his customary gore effects abound.

The tone shifts dramatically for 'The Accident' and director Douglas Buck executes a simple thematic idea in a genuinely affecting way - surely the epitome of what a 10-15 minute short film component of a horror anthology should do.

Then 'Vision Stains' starts strong but fails to fulfil its potential, particularly in the segment's climatic scene. Closing the anthology is the delightfully demented 'Sweets' which along with 'Wet Dreams' perhaps best personifies the 'Grand Guignol' antics THE THEATRE BIZARRE is so keen to evoke.

The Count's Verdict: Not a threat to TRICK 'R TREAT's crown as the best of contemporary anthology horror films but an interesting diversion all the same. Worth seeing for 'The Accident' story alone which is damn near perfect.

Thursday, 16 August 2012


USA: Adam Green, Joe Lynch, Adam Rifkin and Tim Sullivan, 2011

IMDB reference

Seeing as I love a good anthology horror film and reflecting on what a rarity modern portmanteau movies are I was gutted to miss out on this at last year's FrightFest. Having now seen CHILLERAMA I realise my folly in thinking this might have been worth missing the last train home for and my condolences for those that did brave the twilight screening. This just might be my biggest disappointment of the entire festival.

Things get off to a rather spirited start with a suitably grim title sequence but any gothic mood is almost immediately undone by a painfully laughless and puerile opening scene shot in lifeless black and white photography. This soon skews into a colorised framing story set at an old fashioned drive-in theatre populated by irritatingly vapid characters who take turns to deliver forced cine-literate lines that will make your heart sink.

All pretence that CHILLERAMA might actually equal the omnibus films from which it is derived is soon dispensed with as the words 'Wadzilla' appear onscreen. Aiming somewhere between the humour of the giant Boob running amok in Woody Allen's EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK and the nostalgia of fifties SF B-movies, 'Wadzilla' succeeds in raising a chortle but overstays its welcome all too soon. Painfully, one note the gags run dry well before the short running time.

Next up is the amateurish tedium 'I Was Once Teenage Warebear'.
Whatever good feeling 'Wadzilla' managed to raise in its audience this crass comedic farce soon replaces with fatigue as the wheels fall off this segment pretty much as soon as it begins. Thankfully, the stupid but entertaining 'Diary of Anne Frankenstein' soon arrives and saves this mediocrity from being a one-star film.

Sadly though, the tired closing 'Zom B Movie' which brings this anthology to a laboured close epitomises the lacklustre approach of CHILLERAMA. Devoid of genuine scares, laughs or ideas the filmmakers stubbornly go for gross out per-pubescent cock and fart jokes ad nausea until you begin to appreciate why so few horror anthologies are now made.

The Count's Verdict: If you've the appetite for horror anthologies you'll check this out. Just go in with your brain in your ballsack and an expectation only that CHILLERAMA will pass the time.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012


Original Title: Occhi di cristallo
Italy/Spain/UK/Bulgaria: Eros Puglielli, 2004

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Monday, 13 August 2012


USA: Tony Gilroy, 2012

IMDB reference

If it wasn't for the trailer (which I saw at a screening of TDKR) I may not have bothered venturing out to the cinema for a seemingly surplus fourth 'Bourne' action-thriller minus Greengrass and Damon. However, I was genuinely impressed... with the first half of THE BOURNE LEGACY at least.

Instead of immediately feeling the need to make the audience see this as another high-octane, shaky-cam 'Bourne' film, director Tony Gilroy's script takes its time to establish Jeremy Renner's alternative 'super agent' Aaron Cross. In the opening scenes we meet Cross, adrift and isolated in what looks like the location of THE GREY - human tracking wolves et al. Plus we are afforded the time to be introduced to other new but recognisible key players: Rachel Weisz's scientist Dr. Marta Shearing, fallout fixer Eric Byer (Ed Norton) and Stacey Keach's organisation boss Mark Turso. In doing so, THE BOURNE LEGACY expands on the universe of the previous trilogy as well as allowing for the promise of more character based drama.

The expected action spectacle, shaky-cam an all, does soon ensue (a shoot-out in a delapitated mansion is a particular highlight) but not at the expense of the plot, which jumps around both geographically and chronologically before bringing THE BOURNE LEGACY somewhat into pararllel with the finale of THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM.

Now at this point I need to return to that interest-making trailer. The footage of which suggests a far greater overlap between this and the previous film than ever actually takes place on screen. So whilst my expectations were not in the stratosphere for THE BOURNE LEGACY, I did kind of anticipate this film to eventually dovetail in some overt fashion with THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM. Think of the correlation utilised in the aforementioned ULTIMATUM and Greengrass' previous entry THE BOURNE SUPREMACY and you'll understand the point I'm driving at. Unfortunately, this never happens?!

Thus once the film gets well into its third act - on the other side of the globe to the manhunt for Jason Bourne - you realise the likelihood of a Matt Damon cameo is caput. Morever, the highly intriguing possibility of the pursuit of Jason Bourne in New York somehow providing Aaron Cross and Marta Shearing an opportunity to elude their persuers in the same city is rendered a non-starter. The script isn't even able to facilitate a dramatic showdown between Cross (Renner) and his pursuer Eric (Norton). Leaving me feeling Norton has once again been criminally underused by a Hollywood mainstream film.

Another slight let down is that THE BOURNE LEGACY begins to blunt its potential for genuine characteristation (despite the best efforts of Renner and Weisz who are both excellent) as its main narrative drive - Cross' search for drugs to 'stay enhanced' and the medical wizardry his fellow fugitive Dr. Shearing is trying to perfect for him - becomes tediously one note. Thus when the film does finally reach its conclusion (without ever fulfilling the promise of its trailer or the potential of its own first hour) I was left feeling the structure and balance of the film was glaringly uneven.

Now I fully acknowledge a rewatch without such preconceptions on my part might erase some of this uneasiness I felt with the development of the film. Although, I very much doubt the extended motorcycle chase which brings THE BOURNE LEGACY to its finale or the film's closing scene will amount to any more than what I think now: the former is allowed to go on far too long and lacks the panache of the previous Greengrass/Damon films whilst the latter brings an engaging screen relationship to a lazily underwritten close.

The Count's Verdict: The 'Bourne' brand doesn't sink this Hollywood thriller which packs plot as well as punches albeit if in the end it does ultimately feel like a slightly less satisfying retread of the previous Matt Damon films. Worth seeing for the first hour and a first-rate cast.

Sunday, 12 August 2012


Original Title: Cattive inclinazioni
Italy: Pierfrancesco Campanella, 2003

IMDB reference

A 'modern giallo' featuring genre stalwarts Florinda Bolkin and Franco Nero as well as TENEBRAE's own bizarrely apostrophed transsexual performer Eva Robin's in a leading role should be reason enough to recommend this film. Sadly, 'Cattive Inclinazioni' or BAD INCLINATION as its known in English is quite possibly the worst giallo film I've ever seen.

Overlooking the cheap TV visuals, the unconvincing gore make-up and the ridiculous suspense-less plot one can't fail to be dismayed by the complete lack of direction or any discernible acting talent which mires virtually every scene. Instead you get static, limp shots of wooden, clunky acting all of which linger too long inducing a state of narcolepsy in the spectator. The horrendous English dub contributed to this amatuerish bland factor no doubt but even leaving that matter aside, BAD INCLINATION is one of those films which is so mind numblingly awful you're only recourse is to laugh uncontrollably at the nonsensical mess which is unfolding on the screen before you.

The inclusion of nudity in the form of various boobs shots call back to American slashers of the 80s and BAD INCLINATION even ramps up this cheesy sleaze  factor to include several sex scenes akin to the late-night soft-core dross Channel 5 used to churn out.

The Count's Verdict: Forget the misleading pedigree of this film as everyone involved is plumming the depths of the giallo barrel. Only seek it out if, like me, you can find humour in the complete ineptitude on display.

Thursday, 9 August 2012


Original Title: Il siero della vanità
Italy: Alex Infascelli, 2004

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Wednesday, 8 August 2012