• The Dresser

    The Dresser

    ★★★½

    From the director of Bullitt!? comes - what purports - to be a memoir of Donald Wolfit, told through his personal assistant and general dogsbody, Ronald Harwood. The problem with this is that Wolfit died in 1968 and Harwood was born in 1934. He had already established himself as a writer in the sixties so when exactly does this memoir take place?

    Minor chronological quibble aside, the behind the scenes aesthetic is pleasing and allows for some funny insights. It…

  • Blonde Death

    Blonde Death

    ★★★

    James Robert Baker, the writer/director of this queer gem, committed suicide after publication of his book 'Tim and Pete' received accusations of endorsing violence, and promoting the assassinations of political figures opposed to gay rights.

    This year, Trans-writer Gretchen Felker-Martin, published a book called Manhunt in which characters hunt feral cis-men and harvest their organs in a gruesome effort to ensure they'll never face the same fate, in a post-apocalyptic earth on which Felker-Martin murders a fictional J.K Rowling.

    How…

  • BTK: Confession of a Serial Killer

    BTK: Confession of a Serial Killer

    ★★★

    There is no such thing as 'evil eyes' 'a pedo-looking guy' or 'a shifty person' etc.

    A solid boiler-plate examination of another murderous paraphiliac exploiting his local PD's inability in to handle anything more complicated or challenging than a house-breaking.

    When reading people's thoughts on murderers on social media it becomes apparent that many have no idea that seventies style serial murder has been almost completely eradicated, by a combination of surveillance and multi-agency co-operation along with other technological evolutions…

  • Charles Manson Superstar

    Charles Manson Superstar

    ★★★½

    The non-Manson content, in this cheaply made and opportunistic effort, is poorly presented and confused but Charlie delivers when finally talking to a potential candidate for the Family.

    Schreck has used his Satanic connections and tenuous link to LeVey, to gain access to a still, bright and engaged Manson, who seems relieved to not be speaking to some fed or doctor/wannabe crime novelist.

    Manson examines Schreck's hand at one point and you can imagine him doing this to countless deluded…

  • Rambling Rose

    Rambling Rose

    ★★★

    I recently watched a YouTube vid in which a teen girl explained to a PoC boy that she had been born in a girl's body but identified as male and due to 'science' now belonged to the group of trans-males who love other men.

    She said 'I like men. MLM. Men Love Men'. She is 13.

    The PoC boy, with the intentions of creating a memeable moment, asked how this was any different that when she was a girl that…

  • World on a Wire

    World on a Wire

    ★★★

    Much like the better known rip-off, one part of this is much more fun than the other.
    The second part is where the simulation dynamic becomes much more compelling and Fassbinder's boyfriend suddenly gets screen time. Is this is a coincidence?
    The first part is tedious and overly bureaucratic, lacking a clear directorial style, but it is worth persevering until Stiller starts to become aware of the manipulation.

  • 10 Rillington Place

    10 Rillington Place

    ★★★★

    What a horrible little bastard!

  • Murder by Death

    Murder by Death

    ½

    This is awful. You can imagine Neil Simon writing it inspired by the whodunits that he no doubt enjoyed but he has no right to be dabbling in this area.

    Sellers is predictably rubbish with his lazy Asian stereotypes. At least Clouseau had a comic absurdity underneath the caricature but Wang has none. David Niven and Maggie Smith are just there and Elsa Lanchester fares no better. Only Peter Falk is cast well and his Bogie impression not downright awful like the rest of this turd.

  • Men

    Men

    ★★

    Garland, so determined to ground this in paganism and Christian symbolism, has overloaded what should just have been a cautionary horror about men. The layers of meaning, constantly coming at the viewer, serve to undermine his thesis. And he fails to support the central performance from Kinnear which is substantial and nuanced enough to carry the director's confused vision.

    Buckley, on the other hand, seems to have been directed badly at times. The scene in which the Kinnear beast births,…

  • Spetters

    Spetters

    ★★★½

    Even though we have three unlikeable protagonists and a lack of directorial style, not to mention the somewhat incongruous Motocross plot element, this early Verhoeven still has merit and some interesting moments.

    The most controversial, but in retrospect, most challenging aspect of the story is the arc of Eef. Going from gay-bashing to gay rape to just plain old gay may have seemed crass and ill-judged by the queer Dutch community, but without it this film would not be anywhere near as compelling.

  • Smithereens

    Smithereens

    ★★★

    Seidelman knows that if you are going to shoot in New York, shoot New York! So she follows Wren as she mooches off one person then another just bobbing above the surface of the seething mass of failure and thwarted ambition.

    The character is irritating and selfish but that is the point. This is the deathknell of Punk and despite a superficial friendliness Wren's manipulations and lies belie a nihilism that propels her round the Village from apartment to bar…

  • The Frightened Man

    The Frightened Man

    ★★★

    Son of an immigrant father can't hack it at Oxford so he dabbles with being a wheelman for an elegant crim.

    Things go awry when nobody watches the security guy after they tie him up. That lack of basic heistcraft bothered me as did the way the girlfriend ignored the multiple tells that her boy was crooked.

    Good example of British post-war film making that doesn't overstay its welcome.