Archive for March, 2009

Kairo (Pulse) 2001

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , on March 27, 2009 by sideshowmassacre


Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa

You may be familiar with the name “Pulse” after it was released as a mediocre blip of a horror filme starring Kirsten Bell (of Veronica Mars fame). You may not have noticed until Pulse 2 and 3 were released straight to DVD with a combination of atrocious writing/acting and effects. This is only a sad legacy because it was all based on a fantastic Japanese horror film called “Kairo”.

Japan is inexplicably plagued by suicides. Sadness and depression begins to grip the populous. It follows a lot of the conventions established by films like “Ringu” and “Ju on” with the female, dark haired spirits but mixes it up with inventive scares and a healthy level of tension. For the record, the dark haired pale ghosts have been a mainstay in Japanese history for centuries and have popped up in Japanese film since there was film to pop up in.

The spirit world has decided they no longer like being trapped outside our world, and decide to force their way into ours through the technology we’ve surrounded ourselves with (the internet and cell phones of course, “One Missed Call” takes another shot at our “connected culture”). Once they make contact with you
you descend into darkness and depression and eventually join the ranks of the spirits themselves, usually killing yourself in a spectacular way.

The soundtrack is almost silent, this makes the haunting noises and wailings of the spirits far more disturbing, yet hauntingly musical. The atmosphere is built almost entirely off the unnerving quietness and occasional piercing moan, very similar to “The Eye” in how much the noise of the angry spirits remains with you long after the film is done.

“Kairo” is genuinely one of my favorite films of the past couple of years, it shouldn’t be missed, especially if you have to get the nasty taste of the American trilogy out of your mouth (There are currently only three but somehow they’ll drag the franchise down as low as possivle). Since it is an actual good movie I don’t want to give too much of the plot away. Find it, watch it. Now.


Midnight Meat Train

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , on March 26, 2009 by sideshowmassacre


This is one of the most recent adaptations of Clive Barkers work and thankfully he was directly involved and avoided another Rawhead Rex crap fest. For the most part the cast is unknown with the exception of the always intimidating Vinnie Jones and the world-devouring eyebrows of Brooke Shields.

It’s nice to find Barkers painting littering the background, it offers a little something extra for fans to keep their eye out for. Leon, a struggling photographer is shattered when a gallery owner explains the shallow and amateur nature of his work. Through his pursuit of shooting the city “as it really is” he finds himself in deadly and terrifying world he doesn’t understand.

Vinnie Jones stars as the mysterious and silent serial killer Mahogany who stalks the last subway of the evening for victims and uses the barren train cars as a mobile butcher shop. Given his stature and unflinching gaze, when he pops eyeballs out with the force of his hammer you believe him capable of it. The photographer becomes obsessed with the pursuit of the killer, his obsession soon turns to madness and an unbreakable bond with Mahogany and the forces the drive the killer.

Though the film falls into some of the cliches and standard traps of any slasher flick, there is so much creativity and beauty in the shots that much can be forgiven. The colour is often muted and drab. The entire environment is filthy, the dirt and grit of the city oozes into every scene. The cold, metallic greys follow the main character from the train, to the meat packing plant and eventually to his flesh.

Gores hounds will be satisfied with the amount of blood Mahogany manages to shed and the violence inflicted on anyone and everyone. Clive Barkers real talent is revealed with the discovery of a mysterious and possible inhuman group pulling the strings and orchestrating the massacres. Barkers work reminds me a lot of H.P. Lovecraft’s in the sense that it’s not what you can see that should scare you but the bigger, unfathomable, indescribable evil that you can’t.

The movie is a highly enjoyable splatterfest and a great start to the highly anticipated “Movies of Blood” that are on their way.

Back in the drivers seat. This killdozer’s raring to go!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 2, 2009 by sideshowmassacre


Reviews to come.

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I’m super cereal.