Once again I've ignored this blog for way too long (not one singe post in June! Eesh...) and it's become dormant and sleepy.
Once again I have a handful of "real world" reasons that I can mumble in an ashamed manner until I feel I've justified myself.
But more importantly: once again it's time to kick Chopping Mall's battered corpse into life! There it was, thinking that it could finally slip happily into the afterlife of eternal peace, only to discover that one quick occult-magic session, half a pint of roosters blood and a little bit of typing were all that was needed to drag it kicking and screaming and frothing at the mouth back into some sort of life. Much like Christopher Lee's Dracula, however many times it dies, we can always pull it back from the grave.
Last time I pulled the blog back from the abyss I gave it a spangly new banner and fiddled with the look of it. That isn't happening right now but here we go anyway... (not entirely true; I have replaced the banner with a slightly more minimal alternaternative I made a while ago)
June was a fairly slow month for films for me. Between other excitements though, I did manage to watch the following:
1. Fear In the Night – Hammer psychological horror set in an ex-school. Really rather fab and surprisingly menacing for a Hammer film.
2. Terror En Tren de Medianoche (Terror on the Midnight Train) – Set in a quiet Spanish town, the Station-Master discovers some eerie secrets about a train that arrives in the dead of night to ferry the dead. Ever so slow to get going but rewarding if you can stick through it.
3. Black Snake – Dreary Russ Meyer flick set in a slave plantation. Dull as anything.
4. Dr Moreau’s House of Pain – Bad prosthetic monsters, bad plot, bad acting, bad film. For all that it is still quite light-hearted silly fun. If you know anything about Dr Moreau you'll know what kind of thing to expect.
5. El Asesino del Parking – Spanish slasher flick about a guy who kills in carparks. One of the highlights of the month's films; this manages both to be gripping murder mystery and also rather wonderfully gruesome. I'd recommend it to anyone, though it's not for everyone.
6. Opera – Argento slasher. Easily one of the best; bloody and great fun. There really isn't much else to say; if you've seen an Argento film you'll know the kind of thing to expect - beautiful cinematography, grisly deaths - and if you haven't then I'd say here was a good place to start.
7. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner – You have to be in the right kind of mood to appreciate the very introspective gritty British dramas. Luckily I was, and this is fascinating and rewarding. Not a popcorn-and-laughs kind of film but certainly essential viewing.
8. Sunshine Cleaning – Crime-scene cleaning comedy. This was fun in a light-hearted and frivolous way. I think I'd expected a little too much from it really and was left a little disappointed, but it's amiable enough stuff.
9. Blade Runner (Final Cut) – Awesome sci-fi fun with Han Solo and robots. Yeah? Does it really need any more words? You've already seen it right? (If the answer to that was 'no', stop reading now and go hunt out a copy)
10. Solarbabies – Cheesy 80s dystopian roller-blade flick. Quite fantastic in a bonkers sort of way, although it does carry it's share of sickeningly sweet sentimental fluff. Definitely worth it for the roller-blade action and the synth soundtrack though.
11. Quarantine – Awesome Canadian dystopia with sickness and oppression. Power-crazy leaders, a brutal law-enforcement force and a mysterious terminal illness have created a futuristic America of nightmares. It's a surprisingly enjoyable and well put-together film.
12. Dragon Lives Again – Awesomely dubbed bonkers martial arts with “Bruce Lee” - a character, not the actor. This is something quite surreal, involving other worlds, 'Popeye', 'Dracula', a whole host of reanimated mummy-ish creatures and some fantastic marshal arts.