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  • Underworld U.S.A.

    Underworld U.S.A.


    This crime drama begins with 14-year-old Tolly Devlin (David Kent) watching someone taking a fatal beating in a poorly-lit alleyway, which means the incident plays out like a shadow play. Nevertheless, Tolly recognises one of the four men as they run away from the scene of the crime. And then he discovers that the dead man is his father...

    The story picks up several years later and Tolly, now in his mid-30s (and played by Cliff Robertson) is still angling…

  • Ab-normal Beauty

    Ab-normal Beauty


    Prior to this, I’d seen a couple of Pang Brothers films, to which my reactions were mixed. Everyone and their dog knows or at least has heard of The Eye (2002), which rode fairly prominently in the slipstream created by more famed South East Asian horror trailblazers at the turn of the century. And having recently watched their first feature film (1999’s Bangkok Dangerous), it’s clear that they raised their game quite considerably in the intervening years. And while I…

Popular reviews

  • Suddenly, Last Summer

    Suddenly, Last Summer


    A slow-cooked psychodrama dealing with an apparent oedipal obsession, closeted homosexuality, paedophilia and cannibalism – fun for all the family, essentially. But, you know, this could play on TV on a Sunday afternoon because the dark aspects, while clearly referenced, aren’t outright spelled out, let alone depicted when the film goes into flashback mode. And watching this, even without knowing its provenance, it’s clear the film originated as a stage play since the vast majority of it consists of people…

  • Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter

    Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter


    It’s been a while since I watched The Searchers – and this may not be a particularly original observation – but Sex Hunter seems to be an urban Japanese variation on that film. Heck, even the title appears to spell out the allusion, with added prurience. And in the film, the Western genre is directly referenced by one of the characters – and the way that Hasebe frames the nightclub bar scenes is very reminiscent of cowboys lined up at…