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ABCs of Death Blood Baby Blocks Letters Logo

The ABCs of Death: Horror and Horror-Comedy anthology consisting of 26 short films from different directors, including some of the best and most notorious in the genre. The brief is simple; small budget, unlimited imagination, and be as anarchic, ambitious and outrageous as you can. Although there are a couple of stinkers, on-the-whole there are a lot of interesting, fun, and exciting segments in here; and hopefully it will be a gateway into world cinema, as the ‘foreign’ shorts are generally a cut above in terms of story and execution.

Score: 7.5/10

ABCs of Death Youngbuck Pedophile Archery Hunting Antlers Deer

Apocalypse (Nacho Vigalondo): Some great use of black humour and physical effects. Great opener. 8/10

Bigfoot (Adrian Garcia Bogliano): Babysitting done right. Bogyman style Mexican ‘Snowman’. 8/10

Cycle (Ernesto Diaz Espinoza): Mini Triangle/Timecrimes style horror. Garden hoez! 7/10

Dogfight (Marcel Sarmiento): Best animal acting I’ve ever seen. Good mini plot & twist. 8/10

Exterminate (Angela Bettis): A campaign of terror from a spider. Too CGI reliant, but good fapping humour. 5/10

Fart (Noboru Iguchi): Some classic Japanese madness; schoolgirl lesbians overdosing on their teacher’s farts. 7/10

ABCs of Death Toilet Claymation Killer Toilet

Gravity (Andrew Traucki): POV death by drowning. First stinker on the reel. 2/10

Hydro-Electric Diffusion (Thomas Malling): Steampunk Nazi Stripper Cat in XXX Loony Toons. 5/10

Ingrown (Jorge Michel Grau): Bathtubs, needles, scratching, vomit. Proper nasty & hard-hitting. 9/10

Jidai-geki (Yûdai Yamaguchi): Seppuku gone wrong. Very funny and awesome gore / FX. 8/10

Klutz (Anders Morgenthaler): Animation of a poop that just wont flush. One of the tamer segments. 6/10

Libido (Timo Tjahjanto): Very dark Mortal Kombat style masturbation competition. Unsettling and provocative. 9/10

Miscarriage (Ti West): Not scary, not well made, one cheap shock. Worst thing on the reel. 1/10

ABCs of Death Ingrown Bathtub Scratching Needle Murder

Nuptials (Banjong Pisanthanakun): Laugh out loud marriage proposal with a parrot. Charming and witty. 9/10

Orgasm (Bruno Forzani / Héléne Cattet): Feels more experimental and artistic-based than horror/gore. 4/10

Pressure (Simon Rumley): A prostitute doing a ‘crush film’ to pay the bills. Poignant and harrowing. 8/10

Quack (Adam Wingard / Simon Barrett): Too meta! A segment featuring the directors talking about their segment. Zzzzz 5/10

Removed (Srđan Spasojević): Surreal skit about a man being hacked to bits for his celluloid skin. Gross FX, potty mouth! 6/10

Speed (Jake West): Babes in the Desert trying to avoid death. Attitude, sass, style and striking visuals. 8/10

Toilet (Lee Hardcastle): A kid’s irrational fear of toilet training. Claymation madness! 9/10

ABCs of Death Libido Jacking it pedophilia impalement

Unearthed (Ben Wheatley): POV Vampire Vs Angry Mob. One of the slicker and better made efforts. 8/10

Vagitus (Kaare Andrews): Big action featuring a baby-eating robot and fertility. Slick CGI. 9/10

WTF! (Jon Schnepp): Another Meta segment, but genuinely WTF. Zombie clowns, pervy animation, hippy visuals & bloody babes. 6/10

XXL (Xavier Gens): Plight of a fat woman in today’s image-obsessed world. Repulsive SFX, hard-hitting story. 8/10

Youngbuck (Jason Eisener): a paedophile teaches a kid to hunt. 1980s montage style, mental, absurd, and great fun. 9/10

Zetsumetsu (Yoshihiro Nishimura): most outrageous segment; a topless Nazi babe with a big penis fights a girl firing veg from her lady garden. 9/11 depicted on tits; 3/11 (Fukushima disaster) on buttocks. Sex, violence, lesbians, and a fittingly OTT finale. 7/10

AVERAGE SCORE: 6.8/10

OK – so you’re officially in to foreign cinema, and want to be a little more adventurous. Here‘s a is a list of foreign films that are suited to those looking to further explore the more engaging, unique, and interesting movies that other countries have to offer. These are ‘middle of the spectrum’ movies: they require more effort and attention than the previous list for beginners, but aren’t quite the ‘hardcore’ existential or often divisive films that need to be cryptically pulled apart.

This article also has an intentional modern bias. Most of he ‘Best foreign films’ lists appear to have been voted for, and compiled, by older people who only seem to watch a small and predictable list of films made before 1980. That’s utter bobbins, and completely pisses me off. Like music, art, or photography, there’s great things being created all the time. Apologies for the completely arbitrary number but I’ve been deliberating over this list for over three months.

Amores Perros

Amores Perros (Love’s A Bitch – Mexico): three different lives brought together by a car single crash. An intricate, intertwined, and multi-layered drama that follows and connects a fashion model, dog-fighter and homeless assassin. This is a raw, authentic, and unflinching look different social classes in Mexico City. It’s 153 mins long, but packs in three fleshed out stories with overlapping themes of violence, family, and inequality. Despite being Alejandro González Iñárritu’s (Birdman) first film, you knew straight away he was someone special. Storytelling in its purest form. TRAILER

Sex and Fury 01 Reiko Ike, Akemi Negishi, Christina Lindberg, Ryôko Ema, Yôko Hori, Naomi Oka, Rena Ichinose

Sex and Fury (不良姐御伝 猪の鹿お蝶 Furyō anego den: Inoshika o-Chō – Japan): a highlight of the ‘Pinky Violence’ genre (think nudity and nunchucks). This is a refreshing combination of kick-ass female lead, breathtaking visuals, a historical setting, and a revenge story that leans heavily on crimson-splattered action set pieces. Put that all together and you’ve got a supremely high-quality exploitation film that is the blueprint for Kill Bill. Proof that ‘video nasty‘ / exploitation movies can be well-crafted and visually spectacular; beautiful and brutal in equal measures. TRAILER

City Of God Brasil Brazil Lil Ze Rocket Drugs Crime Gangs

City of God (Cidade de Deus – Brazil): an honest, visceral, and no-holds-barred drama that follows a group of kids in Rio favelas from childhood in the 1960s through to the 1980s, and how the city and its people changed. It got Oscar nods for direction, cinematography, editing, and writing, so you know it’s a well-made piece of cinema. With such an ambitious scope, and featuring mostly non-actors this was an enormous gamble, but it paid off big time, and has a legacy of one of the best foreign movies ever made. Often referred to as ‘The Brazilian Goodfellas – lets just call if GoodFavellas from now on? TRAILER

Oldboy Korean Movie

OldBoy (올드보이, Oldeuboi – Korea): an unrivaled tale of epic revenge. Everything about this film is exceptional. There’s a grand and intriguing story, meticulous direction, intense action scenes, a nice layer of humour, and the finale to end all movie endings. Every time I watch OldBoy it blows me away. It’s fantastic and cinematic but rooted in reality by sublime, career defining, performances. It sits perfectly in the middle of a trilogy, and you can’t go wrong with Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, or Lady Vengeance either. An original masterpiece that didn’t deserve a Hollywood, or Bollywood, remake – it’s arguably the best film from one of the world’s best film-makers. TRAILER

tillsammans-(2000) Together Lukas Moodysson 2

Together (Tillsammans – Sweden): Explores the life of an over-populated ‘hippy commune’ house in 1970s Stockholm. A micro drama about real people, that manages to be satirical, funny and poignant at the same time. The housemates are vegetarians, homosexuals, hippies, confused teenagers and alcoholics: basically a comedy scrip-writer’s wet dream. It sports a great ensemble cast, a masterful director coming in to his prime, and the happiest ending to a film I can remember seeing – Football and Abba. Between this and Fucking Amal, arguably Lukas Moodysson’s finest era. TRAILER

Infernal Affairs Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Anthony Wong, Eric Tsang, Chapman To, Gordon Lam, Kelly Chen, Sammi Cheng, Berg Ng, Wan Chi-keung, Dion Lam, Elva Hsiao

Infernal Affairs (無間道, 无间道 – Hong Kong): a powerful and simple concept – the triads have a mole in the police, and the police have a mole in the triads… who’s cover will be blown first? While on paper it’s technically a gangster/action film’s success rests on moments of high tension, drama and suspense; scenes where characters are just about to be made by the opposing side. The cream of H.K. actors push this single concept story from great to amazing. The Departed remake is a fantastic film, but this is still superior in every way. TRAILER

Persepolis Marjane Satrapi Vincent Paronnaud IRAN PUNK IS NOT DEAD

Persepolis (France / Iran): A coming-of-age story about a young, liberal, Iranian at the beginning of the strict Islamic revolution. Most reviews splurge on and on about how great this film looks – and this is true – but the biggest draw of Persepolis is the phenomenal story. It balances an interesting history of Iran, with the small-scale drama of how the regime affected individuals, free speech, feminism, art, culture… There are tragedies, shocks, and heart-warming humanity which make this an engrossing watch. TRAILER

Survive Style 5+ Vinnie Jones

Survive Style 5+ (Japan): it’s impossible to describe what this is like to watch – although this trailer should give you a rough idea. Imagine an intense dose of the West’s ‘crazy Japanese culture’ stereotype perception, but it just works! It’s five offbeat, stories set in a colourful, hyper-designed, pop-art, exotic, and garish world. It’s one of the maddest, most memorable, and most enjoyable films you’ll ever see. If you take cinema as a visual medium – this should be the holy text! The world needs more movies like this. A true one-of-a-kind – and I will be recommending this until the day I die. TRAILER

Headhunters Aksel Hennie Synnøve Macody Lund Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Jamie Lanister

Headhunters (Hodejegerne Norway): A NorwaySweden joint venture based on a Jo Nesbo book – it doesn’t get more Scandy than this. The film translates well up to the big screen as a very tense suspense-thriller that only lets up during moments of comically graphic violence and ultra black humour; which give the audience a few seconds to catch up with their breathing. It’s well-directed, well-acted, well-written, and a great example of a smart, serious, dramatic yet darkly comic crime caper. Better than the best bits of the (original) Dragon Tattoo movies. TRAILER

A Bittersweet Life Lee Byung-hun Kim Jee-woon

A Bittersweet Life (달콤한 인생, Dalkomhan insaeng – Korea): a loyal mob enforcer’s life is thrown into disarray when he refuses his bosses orders. This is a meticulously directed film where, although quite minimal, every single shot in reveals something else about the characters or keeps the story’s momentum going. The performances are strong, and the action scenes are intricate, innovative and flawlessly executed. It’s the second Korean revenge film on this list, but where OldBoy is unique, daring, and rich – A Bitterswet Life is simple, stripped down, raw, and emotive. TRAILER

JCVD Mabrouk El Mechri Jean-Claude Van Damme

JCVD (Belgium): the ultimate anti Jean-Claude Van Damme movie where he plays himself, in real life, during a bank robbery where he reflects on his career. Although it flirts with self-indulgence at times, Van Damme turns in a sensational performance that peaks with a 6-minute long single-cut soliloquy with his heart on his sleeve. It’s an Oscar-worthy show from a man who most people believe can’t even act – and makes you wish he’d been offered more A-list roles. Probably the least accessible film on the list, but you’ll get the most from this if you’ve seen – or care for – other JCVD movies.

Pans Labrynth Guillermo del Toro

Pan’s Labyrinth (El laberinto del fauno – Spain / Mexico): while most of Del Toro’s work contains an element of duality this one is split between two contrasting settings; the harsh reality of Franco’s Spain circa 1944, and a wild fantasy underground labyrinth. The film is eerie but seductive; violent but captivating; and contains some big emotional punches. One of the main reasons this works so well is Del Toro’s background in SFX – the physical effects and CGI are masterfully blended to create completely immersive, and non-distracting settings & characters. Like other true auteurs (Besson, Chan-Wook, Almodóvar, Noe, Jeunet…) you always know when you’re watching a Guillermo del Toro movie, and Pan’s Labyrinth is his masterpiece to date. TRAILER

Paprika Parade Full Satoshi Kon, Yasutaka Tsutsui, Doctor Atsuko Chiba, Detective Toshimi Konakawa, Doctor Kōsaku Tokita, Doctor Toratarō Shima, Megumi Hayashibara, Tōru Furuya, Tōru Emori, Katsunosuke Hori, 

Paprika (パプリカ, Papurika – Japan): a genuinely fearless animation that explores technology, mythology, reality, iconography, dreams, and the psyche. A 50/50 mix of breathtaking & vibrant visuals paired with thought-provoking concepts – you could show Paprika to an intellectual or a toddler, and they’d both be captivated for the duration. It put’s Hollywood’s ‘Cartoons are for kids lol’ attitude to shame, proving that you can do ‘Miyazaki for adults’. As the strapline proclaims: ‘This is your brain on Anime‘. Where can I buy this drug? I want more! TRAILER

Europa

Europa (Zentropa – Denmark): Before he was all about controversy and pushing everyone’s buttons Lars Von Trier actually started out as a promising straight up director. Part of his ‘Europa Trilogy’, Europa is LVT at his finest, employing 100 years of cinematic techniques to make this 1991 film feel like a 1930s Noir classic; told through fractured, surreal, and dreamlike visuals. While it’s not a weighty story, imagery is king here, and there are buckets of it – leaving you to wonder why he went in for Dogma, and hasn’t really shaken off that visual style since. TRAILER

Legend of the Drunkern Master 2

Drunken Master II (醉拳二, Zuì Quán Èr – Hong Kong): generally considered to be the one of the best Jackie Chan movies; and finishing with one of the greatest fight-scenes ever put to film, there’s a lot of grand claims that follow this picture. With a fairly weak plot, the film is completely defined by JC’s unique brand of entertaining slapstick, breathtaking, jaw-dropping, and highly innovative fight-choreography. He’s like Bruce Lee and Buster Keaton, but on better form than both here – mix it up with some unbelievably dangerous elements like fire-breathing, and hot coal stunts and you’re on to a winner. Most importantly, Drunken Master is great fun to watch. TRAILER

y tu mama tambien Diego Luna Gael García Bernal Maribel Verdú Alfonso Cuarón

Y Tu Mamá También (Mexico): Alfonso Cuaron is third director of the modern Mexican boys club (with Iñárritu and del Toro). Before the technical accomplishments of Gravity and Children of men, he made this indie-spirited, passionate, and fiery road-trip movie about love, loss, sexuality, and youth. All three leads are fantastic, but whereas the very young Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna went on to be Latino superstars, the female lead – Ana López Mercado – hasn’t worked since. A solid story, great performances set against a very interesting political background make this a genre-topping road trip to remember.  TRAILER

Ulrich Muhe The Lives Of Others

Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen – Germany): in the final throws of the GDR (East-Germany) a Stasi police officer has to spy on a writer and his lover, but slowly becomes immersed in their lives. The best thing about the intentionally slow pacing is that it gradually sucks you in, more and more, until you’re completely gripped. Ulrich Mühe steals the show with a dialogue-light, nuanced performance as officer HGW XX/7; going from a cold and by-the-book interrogation instructor, to a complex and divided human being. The other cast members, especially Sebastian Koch, put in stellar shifts too. On paper this sounds like a non-event, but it’s as solid a drama / thriller as you could ask for. TRAILER

Only Human Guillermo Toledo Marián Aguilera María Botto Fernando Ramallo

Only Human (Seres queridos – Spain-Argentina): a Jewish lady takes her new Palestinian partner to meet the family; naturally everyone’s dysfunctional. I know what you’re thinking: that sounds like Meet the Parents!? #LOL”. It’s absolutely not, because this is actually smart, witty, and laugh-out-loud funny. Although the story hinges on an intense political divide this film is as apolitical and innocent as they come – it almost feels like a ‘classic’ comedy; playing heavy on stereotypes, slapstick and some black comedy elements. My biggest complaint about Spanish cinema is that it’s usually over-dramatic, but it works perfectly in here. TRAILER

Which foreign film would you recommend for intermediates and why?

Please leave your film suggestions and reasons in the comments.
I’ll hopefully have enough to create a follow-up post – which would credit your entry and link back to your website.
Remember though, these are NOT the best foreign films per se, but the best ones for helping people explore the more interesting movies in world cinema.

Since I started this site I’ve been bleating on about how much I believe that Korea is one of the strongest film industries in the world, regarding the actors, directors and the canon of associated staff that it takes to produce world-class, top-notch films. It looks like Hollywood has finally catching up, recognising this talent, inviting the cream of the crop over to tinsel town. Here’s a list of my favourites that have made the jump, so far…

Park Chan Wook Films Joint Security Area, Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, Oldboy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, I’m a Cyborg But That’s OK, Thirst, StokerDirector – Park-Chan Wook (박찬욱): easily Korea’s most famous cinematic export, and firmly established as one of the world’s greatest directors with over a decade’s worth of acclaimed movies, including; Joint Security Area, Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, Oldboy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, I’m a Cyborg But That’s OK, and Thirst. His trademark style? Meticulous direction, spellbinding visuals, powerful storytelling, and often violent & disturbing subject matter. When Hollywood came a-knockin’ he managed to get Nicole Kidman, Jacki Weaver, and Tony & Ridley Scott involved in his first English-language movie – Stoker, which was well-received.

Lee Byung HunActor – Lee Byung-hun (이병헌;): top of the K-actor pack in my books. He’s starred in some of the biggest and best Korean movies of all time: JSA: Joint Security Area, A Bittersweet Life, The Good The Bad The Weird, and I Saw The Devil. Has recently brought his Asian clout to Hollywood as ‘Storm Shadow’ in the past 2 GI Joe movies, and will appear in RED 2 this summer. He can do everything from rom-coms, to flawed heroes, to villains, and his 20-year career’s been so strong that he has his own Wiki page just for awards and nominations.

Kim Jee Woon - Tale of Two Sisters, Bittersweet Life, The Good The Bad The Weird, I Saw The Devil, The Last Stand

Director – Kim Ji-Woon (김지운): another director running with a hot streak of impressive movies: A Tale of Two Sisters, A Bittersweet Life, The Good The Bad The Weird, and I Saw The Devil. For his debut American production he managed to cast Arnold Schwarzenegger (and coax arguably one of his best performances after a long line of duffers), Forrest Whitaker, Eduardo Noriega, Peter Stromare, and the prolific Luiz Guzman. While it was not on the same level as his national works, The Last Stand far outshone Sylvester Stallone’s attempt at a similar genre movie – Bullet to the Head.

Bae DoonaActress – Bae Doona (배두나): Breaking out internationally in Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, and later The Host & Air Doll, Bae was picked up by the Wachowski brothers for Cloud Atlas, for which she was unanimously praised, sealing her a place in their next film, Jupiter Ascending.

RainActor – Rain (Jung Ji-Hoon, ): broke through with I’m A Cyborg, but That’s OK – and immediately jumped over to star in both Speed Racer and Ninja Assassin. Hasn’t done much since, but that’s OK too, because he’s also a singer, songwriter, dancer and model.

Bong Joon-ho Memories of Murder, The Host, Mother, SnowpiercerDirector – Bong Joon-ho (봉준호): despite having less films than the previous two directors, they still pack a punch: Memories of Murder, The Host, and Mother, all being successful exports. Bong’s next film is the much-anticipated sci-fi thriller Snowpiercer, starring Chris Evans, Jamie Bell John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, and…

Song Kang-ho.. Actor – Song Kangho (송강호): One of the most watchable and charismatic actors in Korea today, he has a magnetism that can only be described as ‘star power’ and a range that most actors can only dream of. Appearing in many of Koreas biggest movies: Shiri, The Quiet Family, JSA Joint Security Area, Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, The Good The Bad The Weird, and Thirst – I’m excited to see that Bong Joon-ho has pulled him across the Pacific.

As you can tell, it’s quite a tight and incestuous list, as the great combinations of elite directors and actors stick together, to create world-class film after world-class film.

But have they been good Korea moves for those involved? (Sorry, had to put that in) You could argue that something is being lost in translation, as the two released directorial efforts, although strong, aren’t on the same level as their previous works, and the actors, despite being in some big roles, are usually word-shy, or over-dubbed in post-production. To that, I would say… so what? Let’s throw Nolan, Scorsese, Bale, Fassbender and Streep into South Korea and make them do a Korean film, speaking Korean, and see how that sits with a completely different culture!

South Korea Flag

Remember this flag, as it may – someday – replace The Hollywood Sign!

Although it’s quite a recent trend, and a fairly short list in the grand scheme of things, I hope that this cross-pollination of talent  continues, and shines a bright light on everyone’s previous – overlooked – work in K-Cinema.

Note: there’s a load of Korean Born / Korean Descendent actors that have spent the majority of their life working and acting in America like Rick Yune, Ken Jeong, Sandra Oh, C.S. Lee, John Cho, Sung Kang, Daniel Dae Kim and so on… but to include them would be cheating.

PrintVIEW ALL JAPAN-O-RAMA POSTS

Having just booked a trip to Japan for this summer I’ve decided to use  it as the perfect opportunity to watch the huge pile of Japanese movies I’ve been slinging into my cupboard for the past 10 years.

Japan’s culture has always been absolutely fascinating to me, particularly their cinematic output – or at least what we can get our hands on in the West. Many of the Japanese films I’ve seen are easily among the most eclectic I’ve seen when it comes to both style and subject matter, and it’s probably the only country where Yakuza, Ninjas, Robots, Monsters, Samurai and Martial Artists appear to be fairly ‘mainstream’ movies.

For the next 6 months I’ll be consuming and reviewing all of the major genres and themes that have defined Japanese cinema on the world stage: 1950s Samurai Epics, J-Horror of the 2000s, 80s/90s Sci-Fi & Cyberpunk, 4 decades of Yakuza flicks, Monster Movies and some of the most bizarre and unique one-off films the country has to offer. The viewing list is fairly big, but a list as varied as: Branded to Kill, Wild Zero, Zatochi, Babycart (Lone Wolf and Cub), Ghost in the Shell, Akira, Ichi the Killer, Seven Samurai, Tokyo Story, Tetsuo: Iron Man, Tokyo Gore Police, Tokyo Decadence, Lady Snowblood, Godzilla – to name but a few.

I’ll also take a look at how Japan (and East Asia) has been portrayed in Western movies over the years, which hasn’t always been positive; bringing to mind things like the fairly racist stereotypes like Mr Yunioshi from Breakfast at Tiffany’s (played by a caucasian – not uncommon), everyone as a Yakuza (Black Rain), student nerds (almost every high-school film), exotic and erotic females and so on. I can barely think of a single Japanese character in a major Hollywood film that wasn’t nerdy / socially inept / over-disciplined / tech savvy / submissive etc.

As always, I’m happy to take on any film suggestions providing I can get my hands on it easily enough. Also happy to team up with other bloggers, publish some guest reviews, collaborations etc – so please get in touch if you’re interested!

Cheers, and I hope you enjoy it.

/Paul

Current reading: Battle Royale13 AssassinsSukiyaki Western DjangoGozuThe Machine GirlSurvive Style 5+Tokyo Zombie20th Century BoysHana-BiVersus

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Kentucky Fried Movie A Fistful of Yen 01

The Kentucky Fried Movie: a series of spoof movie trailers, commercials, films and news sketches – set out like you’re watching TV. Sometimes going in to a film completely cold is a great thing because when the opening line is a newsreader informing you that “The popcorn you’re eating has been pissed in. Film at 11.” it grabs you by the cojones and tells you everything you need to know about the film. Despite an unorthodox format, it allows the film the freedom to deliver a range of brilliant genre parodies: Women in Prison, Blaxploitation, Disaster Movies, Sex Ed, Russ Meyer, and a 30-minute mini-film “A Fistful of Yen”, which perfectly mocks everything about 70s Kung Fu films, specifically Enter the Dragon – everything is 100%, from the editing and SFX down to the cheesy synths. Written by the Zucker brothers, this has their trademark ‘joke joke joke joke joke’ style, so that even when some miss the mark, the next laugh isn’t far off. The only downside is that because there’s so much going on over so many sketches and ideas, you don’t always get enough time with the funniest characters: Wally and Beave in court were hands-down my favourite. While some comedies are era-specific, relying on the culture and news stories of their time – this film was made in 1977 and is easily one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. Kentucky Fried Movie is the film that kick-started the careers of the Zucker brothers and John Landis – so if you like their comedies, there’s absolutely no doubt that you’ll love this.

Score: 9/10

Kentucky Fried Movie A Fistful of Yen 02

Kentucky Fried Movie Courtroom

Naked Killer 2 - Raped By an Angel - TOP Andrew Lau,  Simon Yam,  Chingmy Yau

Naked Killer 2 (AKA – Raped by an Angel, Super Rape & Legal Rape): A skilled lawyer tries to commit the ‘perfect rape’ by exploiting legal loopholes, planting / fabricating evidence etc. First off, this has nothing other than the ‘Naked Killer’ title tying it to the first movie; think less ‘Naked Killer sequel’ and more ‘Original Raped By An Angel’ film. To re-iterate for emphasis – this is nothing like the first film. Secondly: where ‘Naked Killer’ had a campy, tongue-in-cheek, bawdy, exploitation, cult feel – this one relies on nothing more than cheap in-yer-face shocks, mostly through talking about taboo subjects like rape, aids and blowjob techniques. Thirdly: over 11 minutes of cuts were made on the UK DVD release, so it’s like a CATIII film, but with zero CATII content! The script, editing, acting cuts, and subtitles made for confusing and frustrating viewing – it’s hard to tell what’s happening at the 45 minute mark, let alone where it’s going. This is the ultimate blot on everyone involved’s resumés – and one which I’m sure many will have tried to bury. All in all, Naked Killer 2 / Raped by an Angel is simply a shit film, with everything remotely 18 rated cut out of the UK DVD, and nothing more than a name in connection to the first ‘Naked Killer’ film. Avoid at all costs.

Score: 0.5/10

Note: uploading several DVD screenshots as there’s none online, anywhere at the moment.

Naked Killer 2 - Raped By an Angel DVD Screenshot Screencaps Stills Gallery 1 Andrew Lau,  Simon Yam,  Chingmy Yau Naked Killer 2 - Raped By an Angel DVD Screenshot Screencaps Stills Gallery 2 Andrew Lau,  Simon Yam,  Chingmy Yau Naked Killer 2 - Raped By an Angel DVD Screenshot Screencaps Stills Gallery 3 Andrew Lau,  Simon Yam,  Chingmy Yau Naked Killer 2 - Raped By an Angel DVD Screenshot Screencaps Stills Gallery 4 Andrew Lau,  Simon Yam,  Chingmy Yau Naked Killer 2 - Raped By an Angel DVD Screenshot Screencaps Stills Gallery 5 Andrew Lau,  Simon Yam,  Chingmy Yau Naked Killer 2 - Raped By an Angel DVD Screenshot Screencaps Stills Gallery 6 Andrew Lau,  Simon Yam,  Chingmy Yau Naked Killer 2 - Raped By an Angel DVD Screenshot Screencaps Stills Gallery 7 Andrew Lau,  Simon Yam,  Chingmy Yau

Dead Man’s Shoes: an on-edge soldier returns home to find that local thugs have been taking advantage of his disabled brother; revenge is definitely on the cards. The story’s powerful, harrowing, chilling and hard to watch in parts (mostly the flashbacks). First time round I thought Paddy stole the show but on re-watching, his brother (Kebbell) is equally fantastic; most of the antagonists are on top form too. The soundtrack fits perfectly, making the overall ambiance more effective, disturbing you as much as the brief bursts of violence. There are some beautiful moments of black comedy in the spraypaint and comedy car – but they’re only momentary distractions. The only downside is that it feels padded out in parts, with a very long opening and plenty of scenic shots – although it could be argued that it adds to the film’s character. As a thriller, Dead Man’s Shoe is top-notch, and punches way above its low-budget social micro-thriller status.

Score: 8.5/10