Author Archives: leerobertadams

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) – Don’t dream it, be it…

Rocky picture 1

“If you’ve been itching for an opportunity to slip out in public dressed in just fishnet stockings, high heels and corset, you’ll be thrilled to hear that at Kino Scala they are showing The Rocky Horror Picture Show as part of this year’s Mezipatra Queer Film Festival. It’s an extra cause for celebration because this year marks the 40th anniversary of the cult classic.

By turn a musical, gaudy pastiche of 30s and 50s sci-fi monster movies, and creaky sex farce, Rocky originally bombed at the box office before being immediately picked up by a young, hip, counterculture crowd who turned late night screenings into a riotous exhibition of dress up, props, sing-a-longs and dancing in the aisles.

The story – for what it’s worth – concerns a young clean cut couple, Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon), caught out one stormy night when their car breaks down. They stumble upon the spooky mansion of Dr Frank N Furter (Tim Curry), on a night of celebration – he is about to reveal to his “unconventional conventionalists” an amazing scientific breakthrough, namely building a musclebound blond hunk named Rocky (Peter Hinwood) for his own sexual pleasure…” to read the rest of this article, please click here (opens in new tab)

Missing Child (2015) – What if you were the face on the missing poster?

Missing Child

In April 2012, UK police released an age progressed photo of Madeleine McCann, the little girl who disappeared from her holiday bedroom almost six years earlier, while her parents dined nearby. The high profile case captured the imagination of the public, and the new image prompted the question – if you were abducted at a young age, and saw an image in the media that you recognised as yourself, how would you react?

Brooklyn born director Luke Sabis at least partially attempts to answer that question in his debut feature, Missing Child. There are many movies following the tribulations of parents trying to track down missing children, so approaching the sad topic from the absent person’s perspective is an interesting spin on the subject.

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10 Indie film treats you must see this fall and winter…

Tangerine pic

2015 has been a disappointing year for film so far. Inside Out and Mad Max: Fury Road were the mainstream high points, and it has taken Independent films to offer some flavour, wit and intelligence – the creepy, cerebral Ex Machina, weird and wonderful The Duke of Burgundy, and the heartbreaking doc Amy.

Now that the blockbuster season is over, indie film makers move to the fore. With award season looming, we can warm our cockles this autumn with some intriguing indie film treats…

45 Years

The buzz grows around the performances of Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling in this poignant drama. Once darlings of the British indie film scene in the Sixties, they make their first appearance together as a retired couple discovering rifts in their marriage when the body of the husband’s former girlfriend is found just before their 45th wedding anniversary…

Click here to read the full list (opens in seperate tab)

American Ultra (2015) – Half baked…

American Ultra 1
“If ever there’s a movie that sinks its own ship while still tied to the dock, it’s American Ultra. For the promotion of Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock stipulated that no-one should be admitted to the theatre after the movie had started, to prevent ruining the surprise.

If Hitchcock was alive today, and he’d seen American Ultra, he would no doubt recommend exactly the opposite – to preserve any sense of suspense, one should aim to join the movie about five minutes in.

One of the most baffling decisions director Nima Nourizadeh makes in his sophomore effort is to start at the end, then employ a flashback moment which literally flashes every key plot point on the screen before the story starts proper.

In doing so, every drop of suspense is eradicated before the movie even starts, and we’re left with an action comedy thriller without any thrills. To make matters worse, screenwriter Max Landis, following up from the interesting found footage superhero movie Chronicle, also forgets to write any jokes…” Read the rest of the review here (opens in new tab.)

Pontypool (2008) – Shut up or die…


I’ve never found zombies scary, especially in the traditional slow-and-stupid incarnations. Sure, there’s a sense of repulsion, largely generated by our anxiety about what happens to our bodies after we’re dead – many people agonise between burial and cremation, so the idea of rising from the grave as brain-eating cannibals is pretty repugnant.

Then there is the sense of creeping nihilistic dread, particularly in the Romero movies. While zombies are usually pretty easy to avoid or kill individually, you know they will always reach critical mass, ready to tear apart the survivors just as internal conflicts tear the group apart figuratively. But still, as terrifying as zombies are on paper or the imagination, to me there’s always the nagging doubt that they’re pretty naff on film – one bullshit metaphor away from a last-minute, unimaginative Halloween costume.

Pontypool, a low-budget Canadian curio, largely avoids the traditional pitfalls of the zombie pic by barely showing any zombies at all. By withholding the usual limb ripping and gut munching, it engages something usually reserved for the supernatural horror genre – our imaginations.

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Amy (2015) – Brings a tragic star back to life…

Amy 2015 Pic 2

Amy is the best film I’ve almost walked out on at the cinema. Not because it is a bad movie, but because I knew how it was going to end.

I knew how it was going to end before it started, of course, having witnessed the tragedy of Amy Winehouse’s dramatic rise and fall from the rabid perspective of the media not so long ago.

What makes the opening hour of Asif Kapadia’s earnest and heartfelt documentary so unbearable is that it brings Winehouse back to life so vividly. She fills the screen as a smart, funny, vulnerable, brash, beautiful, sublimely talented young artist, and it dawns on you that you’ll have to watch her die again from a different perspective, with greater knowledge of her as a human being, rather than just the addled tabloid caricature she eventually became…” Click here to read the full review (opens in a new tab)

Daisies (Sedmikrásky) – 1966 – Still fresh and angry…

Daisies 2

“Surrealist and Avant Garde films aren’t always the most popular choice for the average movie goer. Until Leos Carax’s demented Holy Motors generated some outside-bet Oscar buzz a few years ago, I’d rather watch a compilation tape of hairy builders getting a back, sack and crack before dabbling with the avant garde.

My perspective has changed slightly since then, largely on the basis of Denis Lavant’s incredible (literally) balls-out multiple performances in that movie, and casting my mind back over the past year of obsessive film consumption, two of my favourite discoveries were of the avant garde variety, Dziga Vertov’s hypnotic portrait of a city in Man with a Movie Camera, and Věra Chytilová’s playful yet provocative Daisies…” Click here to read the full review (opens in a new tab)

Jurassic World (2015) – Another trip to the world’s deadliest tourist attraction…

Jurassic Park 1

“Like its genetically modified star attraction, the Indominus Rex, Jurassic World is a strange hybrid of the franchise’s greatest hits, part sequel, part reboot and part homage to Steven Spielberg’s much-loved original. It capitalises on nostalgia and Chris Pratt’s likable presence, providing two hours of solid monster mayhem without ever getting beyond the pace of a spooked herd of Stegosaurus…” Click here to read the full article (Opens in separate tab)

Fight Club (1999) – Pop Anarchy & Designer Nihilism…

Fight Club pic 1

“Mildred: Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?

Johnny: Whaddya got?

– The Wild One (1953)

Urinating on its own birthday candles this year, David Fincher’s argumentative, narcissistic, hypocritical Fight Club will be sixteen years old. It already feels like a period piece, a slice of premillennial angst full of smug slogans and speeches that can’t decide what it is fighting against.

It is the last “poor me” grumble of the 20th century from Generation X, almost exactly two years before Osama bin Laden weaponised some passenger jets and gave the Western world something to really worry about…” Click here to read the rest of this article (opens in a new tab.)

The Duke of Burgundy (2014) – A baroque S&M dreamworld…

burgundy 1

Like his characters in The Duke of Burgundy, writer-director Peter Strickland is a man with very specific tastes. Inspired by European exploitation flicks of the 60s and 70s, Strickland uses sleazy genre tropes as a jumping off point, creating his own peculiar world of heightened reality. Unlike Tarantino, who mashes all his influences together into a primary-coloured pop culture collage, Strickland’s vision is exactingly beautiful, highly strung, and very, very niche.

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