Friday, January 25, 2013

Beneath Loch Ness (2002)

The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes

A late Billy Wilder film of which he was a principle writer of the screenplay and well as director.  The action eventually leads to the famous shores of Loch Ness, involves evil monks, monster talk, missing midgets, secret experiments, and a performance by Christopher Lee as Sherlock's brother Mycroft.

Half Life (2006)

Polanski's Macbeth

There are a lot of film versions of Shakespeare's "Scottish Play"--but very few of them are actually set in Scotland during the actual historical time frame of the play itself.  This one is--and it does not disappoint!  It has even popped up on a few lists of horror movies--it's that good.  Stars the recently late John Finch, who passed away at the end this past year on December 28.

Werewolves In The Scottish Wilds: Dog Soldiers

The Man From Planet X

Peanut's Choice: Scooby Doo And The Loch Ness Monster

Today is the Scottish poet Robert Burns' birthday and marks "Burns Night" in Scotland that is traditionally accompanied by a specific menu that includes haggis--so it's Scottish Spooks of all sorts today and night.  This is The Peanut's time slot, so naturally Scooby MUST make an appearance.  We are huge Scooby fans around here!

Hitchcock's 39 Steps

Friday, January 18, 2013

Razorback (1984)

Directed by Australian Russell Mulchay, who got the gig to direct this in 1984 from directing a Duran Duran video, this is a "hybrid" horror, much like the razorback depicted in the film.  It was shot for an American audience from the point of view a female American documentation who starts out trying to cover a pet food trade selling dog foods made from native Australian bush meat...well at least the very first part is....after things go awry, an pissed off American (who states that he is actually a Canadian) and an even wiser, much more righteously pissed off Australian go after the monstrous pig with serious appetites.  It's a fun movie.  I haven't seen it in years, but I do remember that there are a lot of tongue and cheek references to all kinds of pop culture, from the equally Australian Mad Max films to the before mentioned Duran Duran.

Dying Breed (2008)

A horror movie in the much more conventional sense--but also set in Tasmania. This Australian wilderness fright does have an unconventional story; in that it intertwines a yarn about a supposed extinct animal, in this case the LONG extinct Tasmanian tiger, not actually being a gone a people might think, with another thread that involves the infamous "Pieman" cannibal Alexander Pearce who was hanged in 1824.  Aside from the strange intermingling of what would normally be two separate movies, this one follows the conventional action plot of stupid urban or suburban types irreverently bounding into the a wilderness that they not only don't know much about, but also do not respect.  Bad things are sure to happen!

The Tale Of Ruby Rose (1987)

An extremely weird and somewhat obscure Drama/Horror set on the island of Tasmania in the 1920's.  It was written and directed by beloved Aussie filmmaker Roger Scholes.  Filmed entirely in the bleak and scarily beautiful Tasmanian highlands, the story centers around a young woman taken to this place by her husband and there she lives with him and his almost grown son.  The horrifying bleakness of the place begins to take a psychological toll on her and strange things unfold from her sense of loneliness and need to reconnect to her family.

Macbeth (2006)

The ultra violent modernized version of Shakespeare's ultra violent "Scottish play" is set in (and was actually shot in) Melbourne; home of the Australian Open.  It turns the respective family warring factions into organized crime factions.  It works!!  Stars Sam Worthington, who though he was actually born in England, grew up in Australia from the time he was six months old, as Macbeth and Australia's own Victoria Hill as Lady Macbeth, supported by an all Australian cast, some of whom are actually from Melbourne.  Additionally, it was directed by Melbourne's own Geoffrey Wright.