comment, exploitation, horror, Movies

The House on the Edge of the Park – nasty for life 2

Following on from my previous re-blog about I Spit On Your Grave, I thought I’d follow that up with a second post about another notorious ‘video nasty’ known for its shocking and transgressive use of sexualised violence. In this case it is a film I think is considerably more artful in execution, as well as explicitly political in subtext, the 1980 Italian film The House on the Edge of the Park. This was originally written in 2012 comparing the film to a Chilean horror film called Hidden in the Woods which had been presented with some fanfare as the latest thing in shock at that year’s FilmFour London FrightFest festival. Needless to say, Hidden in the Woods has been quickly forgotten (although predictably there is a US remake mooted) but The House on the Edge of the Park is still notorious.

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comment, exploitation, horror, Movies

I Spit On Your Grave, nasty for life.

The news that Anchor Bay has taken the rights to a second sequel to the 2010 remake of I Spit on Your Grave first made me despair that anyone would wish to franchise rape revenge. Then it made me reach back a few years and dig out a piece I wrote on the first blu-ray release of the original 1978 film. I’ve given this a light rewrite from the version first put online in 2010.

I should forewarn you that this isn’t really a review, more an essay/comment piece and as such will thoroughly spoil the film’s plot (such as it is possible to ‘spoil’ I Spit on Your Grave). Also while the majority of the original video nasties are now rather quaint, this one and a few others (Cannibal Holocaust, Last House on the Left, and House on the Edge of the Park spring to mind) retain their power to shock and appall. As such the plot details may offend. If in doubt, do not read on.  Continue reading

comment, Movies

‘Don’t look back’ said the pillar of salt – my barely literate first writings on film

Okay, they say a life unexamined is not worth living, and so it is with writing. Here I am cracking the seal on a collection of really old film reviews written in the early nineties, mainly at 3am. I present these unaltered, with only minor typos corrected. I have even left in the director credit on Dust Devil to one Paul Stanley (it’s Richard Stanley in case you need to be told).

Back in the early nineties kids, there was no internet I had my battered copy of the Time Out Film Guide and the impressive collection of big box VHS tapes on the shelves of the late and lamented Edinburgh video emporium Alphabet Video for research. These were published in the pages of Convulsion, a music fanzine to which I contributed excitable and occasionally chemically deranged writings on the pop platters of the day and interviews with bands mostly conducted in toilets backstage at the Edinburgh Venue (RIP also you were a foetid pit, but I loved you).

Anyway, mostly this is of stuff I will have seen at the Edinburgh Film Festival, the occasional pre-release VHS from Alphabet, and the odd bootleg. Dig in… Continue reading

comment, Movies, science fiction

Don’t be a dick, Riddick!


The spur to starting this blog was the shuttering of the website Chris and Phil Presents, a site for which I had wrote a ton of stuff over the years. We don’t leave much of a mark on the world, so faced with mine evaporating like so much digital smoke I started this blog.

As is the nature of the fast moving world of show, some of the stuff I wrote has rather gone past its sell-by date, but with the recent [mild] controversy over a particular sexist joke in the movie Kingsman: The Secret Service (one I commented upon in my review along with everybody who saw it and quite a few who didn’t) reminded me of a blog I had written after seeing the sci-fi sequel Riddick. Continue reading

comment, Movies, Video games

UPDATED BONUS LIFE VERSION!!! – GAME OVER MAN, GAME OVER – thoughts on the sorry state of the video game to film adaptation

I reposted this a year ago and it is time for an update following the release of Warcraft. Continue reading

comment, Movies

What do you call a Sylvester Stallone film if it drops on Amazon but no-one can find it?

There is a new Sylvester Stallone film coming to UK DVD and Blu Ray, it’s an ensemble drama called Reach Me, I know little about it but the synopsis on IMDB describes it thusly:

“A motivational book written by a mysterious man quickly gains popularity, inspiring a group of people that includes a journalist, his editor, a former inmate, a hip-hop mogul, an actor and an undercover cop to re-evaluate their choices and decisions by confronting their fears in hopes of creating more positive lives.”

Got that? Continue reading

comment, Verite film magazine

New issue of Verite – the digital film magazine – out now!!!

I contribute to Verite Film Magazine on and off. Amongst the riches of the latest issue (which I am looking forward to reading myself) I have a piece on David Fincher’s Se7en and big up Calvary among the magazine’s top 10 of 2014 list. But that is by the by.

This is a polite request, any followers who like offbeat and independent film (and if you follow this blog I assume you do) please do support Verite by reading it, and if you like it maybe telling a few people. It’s completely free too.

The editors Jordan McGrath and David Hall do terrific work putting this together, but it is a constant struggle for any non-mainstream film publication to get noticed when it seems that everyone else is solely interested in comic book movies and franchise pictures.

Every comment, tweet, facebook update helps, even if it is critical (maybe not Google+, like who cares?)

You can find the latest issue via the following link

The Verite website is at

Verite is on twitter as @veritefilmmag

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