Slither (2006)

Slither (2006)

The Umbrella release of Slither with amazing slipcase by Simon Sherry

Film: James Gunn is certainly one in a million. Most people know him from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad, but his career before that was SO much more fun, and honestly, creative.

There’s an amazing two pack of films that I suggest to anyone who doesn’t know his work, and that’s his superhero film Super, starring Rainn Wilson, and this film, Slither.

Slither tells of the small town of Wheelsy, and after an argument with his wife, Starla (Elizabeth Banks), Grant Grant (Michael Rooker) finds himself in the woods, potentially about to commit adultery after being reunited with a school friend, Brenda (Brenda James), but unfortunately, Grant ends up having a dart shot into his abdomen by something that appears to be not-of-this-earth.

Michael Rooker and Elizabeth Banks as Grant and Starla, respectively

Grant collapses and we see, via X-ray, the dart burrow it’s way up into his head.

The next day, Grant is a changed man: he is quieter, and is desperate to collect as much meat as he possibly can, and Starla has noticed the change. Grant revisits Brenda, and with two newly grown tentacles, impregnates her with, what we find out later, to be thousands of leech-like brain slugs.

Whilst all this is happening, Sheriff Bill Pardy (Nathan Fillion), a childhood sweetheart of Starla’s, is investigating Brenda’s disappearance, and obviously, all this quickly collides as the slugs invade the town, and burrow into the mouths of everyone they comes across… will he and Starla survive?

This film is extraordinary in that the fun is a gory, gross out horror movie, that still has elements of laugh-out-loud comedy. The story is solid, and doesn’t overexplain where the ‘thing’ came from initially, except for in some interesting hive-mind flashbacks.

A brain slug tries to take over Emily (Matreya Fedor)

You can really see Gunn’s early career at Troma influencing this film, except for the budget. The humour is sophomoric (thankfully) and the gore is sudden, disgusting and surprising. There is a body bisection that still, after many if watches of this film, delights me to no end.

The cast is also fantastic. Fillion is charming and likeable and Banks is just adorable as well. Special mentions have to go to the appearances of Lloyd Kaufman as the town drunk, Jenna Fischer, a TV crush of mine from the Office, as the police receptionist (who also starred with Gunn in the film LolliLove) and Gunn himself as the most awkward of school teachers.

Gunn’s slick writing and directorial style is present here as well. The script is full of old school jokes, some of which may not sit well with a 2022 audience, but fit for the location and time period, and the direction has some really interesting angles which really makes the film fun to watch. The effects don’t sit as well as they did, but that’s to be expected and if you are able to overlook some of those bits of CGI due to age… this movie is almost 20 years old remember, so even though the practical effects are great, some of the CGI isn’t so perfect, but it’s all still very effective.

This film is a beautiful throwback to films like Henenlotter’s Brain Damage or Stephen Herek’s Critters and could be watched alongside them and not seem at all out of place, even though this film was made 20 years later.

I think I really like this film because of its 80s/ drive-in influences, and was more than happy to revisit it! This Bluray from Umbrella Entertainment is from their ‘Beyond Genres’ imprint and has a pretty awesome slipcase by Simon Sherry.

Score: ****

The menu for the Bluray release of Slither

Extras: A bunch of fun extras on this disc that were on the original DVD back in the day.

Audio commentary with James Gunn and Nathan Fillion is interesting and charming and full of lots of reminiscing about the films of the 80s and the making of this film.

The Slick Minds and Slimy Days of Slither: Making of Featurette is a quick ten minute look at the origins and making of the film.

Who is Bill Pardy? starts as an amusing set of outtakes of Fillion, saying ‘I’m Bill Pardy whenever he screws up, but then turns into an amusing roast of Fillion by the cast and crew.

Slither Visual Effects Progressions looks at the different plates the CGI went through from the initial filming to the resulting effect.

Bringing Slither’s Creatures to Life:FX Featurette goes through all of the practical effects used in the movie, ad is quite fascinating!

Slithery Set Tour with Nathan Fillion is a brief bit with the ever charming Fillion filming some behind the scenes stuff with his particular brand of comedy.

The Gorehound Grill: Brewin’ the Blood is basically a recipe for the blood used in the film.

The King Of Cult: Lloyd Kaufman’s Video Diary is a little bit of home video made by Lloyd Kaufman, the King of Troma, and the man who directed Gunn’s script Tromeo and Juliet, who was invited by Gunn to have a cameo in the film.

Deleted Scenes and Extended Scenes as usual are an interesting watch but ultimately not necessary.

Gag Reel is one back from the old days when gag reels were actually funny and not staged like the modern day Marvel ones.

Score: *****

WISIA: I will easily watch this film at anytime!

Nathan Fillion takes aim!

This film was reviewed with the Umbrella Entertainment Bluray release.

Justice League: Injustice (2021)

Justice League : Injustice (2021)

The cover to Justice League: Injustice.

Film: I really love DC comics. For as long as I can remember I’ve have had DC comics, toys and shirts, but as a company there is one thing that DC has consistently done since the mid-eighties that really gets my goat.

The consistent opposition of Batman and Superman.

Sure, in Frank Miller’s Dark Knight series it made sense, but every quality writer (and hack) has seemed to decide that that opposition, even though Miller’s work isn’t part of regular DC time, is the standard between them.

The murder of Lois Lane hits Superman hard…

I always thought that Batman and Superman were the ultimate team, the brains and the brawn, but the way DC plays Batman now is he’s really not much better than Lex Luthor: a rich man afraid of an alien who demonstrates acts of humanity better than actual human beings, and whose pro-activity makes them a better person than they could ever be.

The Injustice video games are fantastic, and I’ve played them a ridiculous amount of time, and considering the cornerstone of the story in that is that opposition, it might make me somewhat of a hypocrite, but it’s the quality gameplay I remember rather than the story. As a caveat I must admit that in my over 40 years of comics reading I have never read an issue of the DC comic Injustice because I have no interest reading a story based on a game that I payed more attention to the mechanics than the story… please ‘X’ to skip? No problem.

The story has been obviously popular though, and even though it’s a trope that fans love even though it’s been beaten to death, as a collector of the DC Animated Blurays I certainly felt an obligation to purchase it, so here we are.

Injustice is the tale of a fallen Superman. After the Joker kills Lois Lane, and destroys Metropolis, Superman goes crazy-8 bonkers and pulls the heart out of the gleeful Joker, and blames Batman partially for Lois’ death as he never had the stones to properly ‘take care’ of the Joker.

… but not as hard as he hits the Joker.

For some reason, Batman decides that this isn’t justice (even though the Joker has killed and escaped so many times) and the Justice League divides into those who think Superman did wrong, and those who think Superman did something fair and just, and so the battle begins with many surprise deaths at the hands of the rogue Kryptonian.

Who is right? Who is wrong? The conversation will possibly continue long after the story has finished, and this story stars SO many DC characters: Catwoman, Harley Quinn, Green Arrow, and so many more. For a full list, check out the roster of any Injustice video game!

To the credit of the writers, the story doesn’t end up with Batman acquiring some kryptonite but is instead an emotional appeal to the man that Superman once was, and it is far more satisfying. Unfortunately, what is a promising set-up relies on multiverse rubbish and the appearance of Plastic Man and is all executed with probably the worst character design of any DC Animated feature to date.

Score: **

The menu screen to Justice League: Injustice

Extras:

Adventures in Storytelling – Injustice: Crisis and Conflict is a fascinating round table with producers Jim Krieg and Rick Morales, director Matt Peters and writer Ernie Altbacker. It’s a detailed look at the themes and even the politics of the story and entertains and informs thoroughly.

A Preview of Reign of the Supermen and A preview of The Death of Superman are shorts that look at other features from the DC Animated movies.

There is also two animated episodes, Injustice for All parts 1 and 2 from Justice League. Not sure of the connection except for the name, but whatever.

Score: ****

WISIA: Nope, but I’ll play the games again!

The Bat and the Cat discuss their plans to take down the Man of Steel

This review was done with the Australian release of Justice League: Injustice.

Preview: Midnight in the Switchgrass (2021)

Preview: Midnight in the Switchgrass (2021)

The cover to Eagle Entertainment’s release of the film

Film: I am very easily convinced into watching a film based on the stars involved in it, and even though the name ‘Midnight in the Switchgrass’ sounds like some nonsense from a Dr. Seuss book, I was able to overlook that when I saw that it starred Die Hard’s Bruce Willis, who I could watch in anything, and Megan Fox, an actor who I loved in Jennifer’s Body, Transformers (of which she was possibly the best thing) and her coquettish turn in the Simon Pegg flop How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, a film that I think is actually quite hilarious.

Megan Fox as Lombardo

This is the first film directed by Randall Emmett, a producer who has been involved in action movies like Boss Level and The Irishman, and was written (and produced) by newcomer Alan Horsnail, and is based on the murders of Robert Ben Rhodes, aka The Truck Stop Killer, a serial killer convicted of three murders, but is suspect of about 50 others, and who is still to this day in prison.

Bruce Willis as Karl Helter

Midnight in the Switchgrass tells of FBI agents Karl Helter (Bruce Willis) and Rebecca Lombardo (Megan Fox) who are hot on the tail of a sex trafficking ring when their investigation crosses paths with that of Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent, Byron Crawford (Emile Hirsch) who is investigating a series of missing/ murdered women.

Emilie Hirsch as Crawford

It’s around this time in the film that we are introduced to truck-driving family man, Peter (Lucas Haas) who has a horrible secret: he’s the murderer that Crawford is looking for!

Machine Gun Kelly as Calvin

The two agencies combine forces and information, some collected from sex trafficker Calvin (Machine Gun Kelly), and they start to close in, but will Lombardo’s undercover skills put her at risk?

This isn’t a bad film, but I do think it may be about 20 years too late. I’m sure this film would have been a pretty popular film then, but now, with TV shows that tell similar stories becoming so popular, it’s just out of time.

The heroes of the piece are definitely Hirsch with his wide-eyed cop who just wants to finish ‘the job’ of saving these young women, and surprisingly Machine Gun Kelly was pretty good as the scumbag pimp… though the person who watched this with me who knows his non-acting work better than suggested that his personality may not have been too different from his own. Lukas Haas wasn’t bad either but his creepy performance came more from his looks that anything else.

Megan Fox was ok in the film, but was more convincing in the victim role than the cop, unfortunately Bruce Willis felt like he just turned up to collect a pay cheque, and disappears half way through.

I have to point out one thing: there is a particularly unintentionally funny bit in the first few minutes where Fox has to subdue Machine Gun Kelly’s character, and I don’t know if it was that the actors afraid of hurting each other or the direction was lacking but I don’t think I’ve EVER seen a more awkward fight scene in a movie

This is the thing though; I really loved those thrillers from the late 90s and early 2000s like Taking Lives, Copycat and The Bone Collector, and even the ones a bit later like Alex Cross and Jack Reacher, so I actually quite enjoyed it. It is certainly not as good as some of those films, but if they made a sequel to this with Fox and Hirsch in it, I’d probably give it a go.

Score: ***

Lukas Haas as Peter

Preview copy was provided by Eagle Entertainment and watched via the Vimeo app.

Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

The Umbrella release of Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Film: I was a latecomer to seeing the Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Being in Australia and too young in the eighties to be part of any tape-swapping scene, and then a bit of a loner in the early 90s, I didn’t actually get to see it until it was first released on DVD.

Should I hand my horror fan card in now?

The problem with seeing it so late is I was completely entrenched in the hype from mags like Fangoria, Samhain, Fear and the hundred of other mags and books I had been exposed to before seeing the film. Could a film live up to everything I had heard for all those years? Of course not!

Texas Chain Saw Massacre tells of a group of young kids travelling through Texas to see a family home; Sally (Marilyn Burns), Kirk (William Vail), Pam (Teri McMin), Jerry (Alan Danziger) and the disabled Franklin (Paul A. Partain) who decide it would be fun to pick up a hitchhiker (Edwin Neal), an extraordinarily strange man who is kicked out of the van after attacking Franklin with a knife.

Edwin Neal as the Hitchhiker

The group go to the abandoned family house and split off in their various directions, as horror youngsters do, exploring the surrounding area. Unfortunately for them, they find out exactly where the hitchhiker lives, and that he has an extended family of the cook (Jim Siedow), the practically immobile (and maybe mummified?) Grandfather (John Dugan) and the terrifying, monstrous, chainsaw-wielding beast Leatherface (Gunnar Hanson). This family LOVE having people for dinner, if you know what I mean… and unfortunately for some, there is fresh, young meat available…

Since that first watch, I’ve respected this film, but haven’t held it in the high regard on my personal list of most loved films like others had, mainly because I had seen and fallen in love with so many other horror films before I had the opportunity to see it, and it didn’t feel as special as I thought it was going to be: it wasn’t very gory, or bloody, but I could appreciate it was a pretty good story and the family, especially Leatherface, the main killer and TCSM icon, were terrifying.

The iconic red shorts scene

There’s no doubt the film really looks the business. Made with a low budget in 1974, the film looks hot, and dirty, and horrible… but not as in horrible filmmaking, because it really looks like a proper horror movie. Hooper makes every set up scene sweat with the heat, and every scene with the bad guys in it is full of dread, and that combination of heat and dread really makes the whole experience really claustrophobic, which is what proper horror really does, and because you see the cast both hot and in fear, you find yourself in the film with them. The upgraded and cleaned up version of the film may have been criticised by some upon release as it made the film look ‘nicer’, but it’s a grimy enough film to be able to overcome that.

I must put a caveat here and say ‘except for one’ in regards to the cast of characters. For me, the entire experience of this film is spoilt by the character of Franklin. I like to get really involved with the characters experiences and feel what they are feeling, but every time Franklin’s immature, whiny drawls come out, I disassociate from the film and find it hard to get back into it. Thankfully he doesn’t spoil the final scenes of the film, so at least the pay off is good.

I appreciate just how important this film is not just to horror, but to the film industry in itself, but personally, there are a lot more films that appeal to me far more. Still, everyone should see it at least once in their lives so they can understand that a film doesn’t have to be Citizen Cain or Gone With The Wind to lay industry foundations that will forever hold strong.

The menu screen to the Bluray release

Score: ***1/2

Extras: The disc opens with trailers for the Umbrella Entertainments releases for The Babadook, and The Quiet Ones, before we get SO many extras! There’s so much information for cast and crew across these extras, after you have finished watching them, you will feel like an expert on the film.

There are 4 (!) commentaries on this disc! One with Tobe Hooper, another with cinematographer Faniel Pearl, Sounds Recordist Ted Nicolaou and Editor J. Larry Carroll, a third with actors Marilyn Burns, Paul A. partial, Allen Danziger with Art Director Robert A. Burns and finally one with Tobe Hooper, Daniel Pearl and Leatherface himself, Gunnar Hanson. The first two commentaries are labelled as ‘new’ so I assume the others are on previous releases. There is just buckets of anecdotes and recollections across these 4 commentaries they almost make the other extras redundant!

‘Off The Hook’ with Teri McMinn is an interview with the actress who portrayed Pam, who, for me has the iconic shot in the film where she walks across the from of the house in the bright red shorts. There’s also that other iconic scene where she I’d definitely ‘on the hook’ but still, I love the shorts scene.

Interview with actor John Dugan, who played the Grandfather, under LOTS of makeup, obviously. He talks about his days in set and the heat (a common theme) under that mask.

Interview with Production Manager Ros Bozman of which TCSM was one of his earliest jobs, but he went on to do films like Philadelphia and Married to the Mob… he went legitimate, if you will. Again, interesting look at the film production from the POV of the actual production manager makes for an interesting watch.

40th Anniversary Trailer is the trailer made for the remastered version of the film.

Horror’s Hallowed Grounds with Sean Clark – a visit to TCSM Location. I like the HHG stuff in general as the revisiting of some of the locations can be fascinating, and this isn’t different. I do have to say I hate the skate punk film clip intro, but I’m willing to forgive that for the content of the rest of the episodes.

Deleted Scenes and Alternate Footage are the usual bunch of things that the film is probably better off without, which it’s popularity obviously proves.

Blooper Reel is ok but looks like it was filmed through a screen door.

Theatrical Trailer, Tv Spots and Radio Spots is about 5 minutes of the original advertising for the film. Now we have this beautiful remastered version it almost seems weird to see it so washed out and grainy… has the film lost something with the clean up? Not to me but I’m sure there are many who prefer the more ‘grindhouse’ feel to the way it used to look.

There are two documentaries on this disc; ‘Flesh Wounds’ and ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Shocking Truth’. Flesh Wounds is divided into 7 parts and is a far more by-the-fans-for-the-fans affair, whereas The Shocking Truth is made as a more traditional doco about the film.

The Tobe Hooper interview and Kim Henkel interviews are certainly the nuts and bolts interviews of the entire disc. Interesting but some of the info has been heard before on the various commentaries and other extras across the disc.

Killing Kirk outtakes is exactly what it says on the box. Some different takes in Kirk’s murder. No commentary or sound though.

Outtakes from ‘The Shocking Truth’ is about 7 minutes of extra footage from the Shocking Truth doco not used in the film.

A Tour of the TCSM House with Gunnar Hansen is a 1993 shot-on-video look at the original location for the house where the original film was made, with commentary by Hanson as he wanders through with the camera crew, and then another in 2000 after the house had been restored… and it’s disturbingly filled with Easter bunnies and paraphernalia!

Score: *****

WISIA: Even though it’s not even in my top 20 favourite horror films, I still will watch it now and again to remind myself of it’s importance not just in the horror film industry, but the entire film industry.

Marilyn Burns as Sally, freaking the hell out!

This review was done with the Australian release of the film, provided by Umbrella Entertainment.

Candyman (2021)

Candyman (2021)

The cover to the Australian Bluray release of Candyman

Film: For me, Candyman was the last of the really amazing horror franchises. Based on a Clive ‘Hellraiser’ Barker story ‘The Forbidden’ and directed by Paperhouse’s Bernard Rose, it starred Tony Todd from Tom Savini’s Night of the Living Dead remake as a supernatural slasher, akin to the likes of Freddy Krueger, but with his revenge coming from a tragic backstory of victimisation and prejudice rather than one of a paedophilic lust that resulted in his doom.

If there was anyone to take the franchise and relaunch it, it would certainly be Jordan Peele. Peele co-produced and co-wrote this film with Wil Rosenfeld and director Nina DeCosta, who direction here impressed me so much that I have become an immediate fan!

Candyman tells of up and coming artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) who has seemingly been struggling to find his artistic ‘voice’, and that seems to be holding back his success. Luckily, he is supported by his partner, Brianna (Teyonah Parris), who is employed by a local art gallery.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Anthony McCoy

In the quest to find his voice, Anthony visits Cabrini-Green, a part of Chicago that was once a housing project that became an area which was riddled with crime and became neglected by the government, and meets William Burke (Colman Domingo) who introduces him to the horrific story of the Candyman, a man who in Cabrini-Green in the 70s was accusing of disfiguring a young white girl by putting a razor blade in candy that he regularly offered the local children, and was beaten to death by the local police.

Legend has it that if you say ‘Candyman’ in a mirror 5 times, he will appear and murder you, and this appeals to Anthony, jumping onto the myth and creating art based around it. The problem is, sometimes when you open a door to a legend, it refuses to allow the door to be closed, and Anthony, both mentally and physically, starts to devolve as he discovers that maybe the legend of the Candyman is much MUCH more than it seems…

I have to say I went into this with low expectations. Not because of anything to do with the filmmakers, quite the contrary, I loved Peele’s Get Out!, Us, and Twilight Zone series, so his involvement was probably the thing that really made me pursue it. Instead it was that I have an irrational aversion to production companies digging up old franchises to revitalise them. Get Out! and Us are perfect examples of this: why the hell would I want to watch a continuation of a series that died over 20 years ago when there is modern, relevant horror like these titles being made.

Seriously, don’t say his name in the mirror five times!

Perhaps money talks, but judging from the extras, there certainly is a fondness in the black

community for the Candyman, so maybe now is the perfect time to bring back such a character!

DeCosta’s direction was the first thing that stood out for me. Her use of reflection in this as a tool to tell the story is amazing. So many scenes are shot looking at the reverse of the image that it creates an even more dream-like state. I was reminded of Ron Howard’s EdTV where almost every shot begins looking at a TV screen in a way to describe that what you see on TV may not be real. There’s also this fantastic replication of the opening top down view of the first Candyman movie, but, taking the ‘reflection’ idea, it’s shot from below look up. This could also be a look at the people who were trapped in Calibri-Green and other projects like it, and their desire to escape.

The cast are also on point and completely believable. Abdul-Mateen II’s artist is not one we would normally see in a film. Artists are usually seen as struggling financially, but here we see one who is having trouble expressing himself. Parris is a wonderful support to this character, being the driving force behind Anthony, and as someone who has a successful partner who drives me on with my various endeavours, I think I believe in this character more than most! Domingo is also a fascinating character with his sage-like information feed to Anthony, but it never quite feels right, and that pays off in the end.

Flashbacks in this film are also done with an idea that was welcome, and in a film about an artist, both Anthony and the original Candyman, perfectly suitable. Manual Cinema, a shadow puppeteering company, do all the flashbacks in this fashion, and the stories have this beautiful abstraction to them that’s welcome.

The soundtrack by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe suits the film as well, as it’s combination of soundscapes and voices put the viewer on edge constantly. I like these less traditional scores by untraditional performers and this one nails it.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this film and it’s a welcome throwback to the original, and doesn’t ignore the original story, (one section even reveals a photo of Virginia Madsen in it). DaCosta has truly made a film that is proper horror; I’m not sure if I want to see another film in this series, but i think this addition to the legend in the current political climate was timely.

Score: *****

The menu screen the the Bluray of Candyman

Extras: A nice bunch of extras on this disc:

An Alternate Ending that I thought could have almost been a post credit sequence that was interesting and possibly a shame it wasn’t included as that.

There’s 3 deleted/ extended scenes that I’m actually disappointed weren’t included. One is an extended take on the art critics commentary on how it’s artists that cause the gentrification of poor neighbourhoods, next is the suicide of Brianna’s father and finally one where we see a bit more of just how awful the high school mean girls are. I’m not one to normally care deleted scenes but I liked these and realistically they were no more than a minute or two in total.

Say My Name talks about the legend of Candyman, and discusses briefly the violence committed on the minority communities in America. It may only go for 6 minutes or so, but the emotion and content of Tony Todd’s final words makes you stop and think.

Body Horror looks at the devolution of Anthony’s body after the bee-sting he receives at Cabrini Green whilst investigating the Candyman. It’s pretty gross. DaCosta mentions that she was influenced by David Cronenberg and it’s apparent.

The Filmmakers Eye: Nia DaCosta looks at DaCosta’s take on the Candyman legend, and how important it was to have a different cultural take on the legend.

Painting Chaos looks at the work on the film of Hamza Walker, an art consultant, who created basically an art show for Anthony’s work to be displayed amongst. To give it legitimacy, they borrowed work from black Chicago artists so that the art shows weren’t just a bunch of stuff on canvas bashed together by an art department, but instead really represented the local art community. They also look at the artists who did the work for the character of Anthony, Cameron Spratley and Sherwin Ovid, two completely different types of artists but both whose work really adds depth to the character.

The Art of Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe looks at the score and soundscapes made for the film, and the take that Lowe has of Philip Glass’ original score.

Terror in the Shadows looks at the stunning beautiful shadow marionettes used in the film created by Manual Cinema.

Candyman: The Impact of Black Horror is an interesting discussion hosted by Colman Domingo with experts on horror and real-life trauma and mental health and the reverence of the character both to the black and horror communities.

Score: ****

WISIA: Seeing as how I enjoyed DaCosta’s work so much I can definitely see me watching this again.

An example of DaCosta’s use of reflection

Whiteout (2009)

Whiteout (2009)

The cover of the UK release of Whiteout

Film: One of the big problems with comic to film projects is compression.

If one is making a film of say, Spiderman, a cinematic script writer needs to look at 50 odd years of history and compress that into 2 odd hours of movie. Some writers attempt this by directly adapting a story, others just try to get a ‘feel’ for the character and others try for an amalgam of tales. Some would say that this is why many comic to film movies didn’t work, and why the modern comic movie DOES work as it simply gets its inspiration from the original work.

Ideally what one would do is to get a story that is a one off, like a novel! Whiteout is a comic written by Greg Rucka, who has written for DC’s Wonder Woman and Action Comics, and illustrated by Steve Leiber, who has illustrated Detective Comics and Conan and is published by independent publisher Oni Press.  Whiteout was popular upon its release in 1999 and to date has produced a sequel, Whiteout: Melt which earned an Eisner Award in 2000 for Best Limited Series. A third series Whiteout: Thaw, renamed Whiteout: Night, is yet to be published.

The film adaptation of Whiteout was directed by Dominic Sena who also directed the Nic Cage vehicle Gone in 60 Seconds and the Travolta/ Jackman thief gumbo Swordfish.

Kate Beckinsale as Stetson

Whiteout starts in 1957, with a Russian transport plane crashlanding into the snow after a gunfight between the co-pilot and a security team who are responsible for guarding ‘something’ results in the pilot getting his brains blown out.

Flash forward to now, and we are introduced to US Federal Marshall Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale) who, after a disastrous experience with a traitorous partner, has worked in a research station in remote Antarctica for 2 years. The station is in a part of Antarctica that becomes so cold in the winter that planes aren’t allowed in or out for three months, and so the majority of the workers leave for that period. Stetko has decided to leave her position as ‘town sheriff’ permanently, and make preparations to leave for the last time. Unfortunately, her last days are marred by what appears to be a body seen by a pilot in a fairly remote part of the area which she has to investigate.

She grabs the Station’s doctor ‘Doc’ (Tom Skerrit) and they, along with a pilot Delfy (Columbus Short) fly out to the remote area where the body was seen, and what they find is not an accident victim, but the corpse of one who has been… murdered.

The body mysteriously abandoned in the snow.

So the story begins, and we have Stetko having to solve a murder in only a few days, and when it becomes compounded with the mystery involving the aforementioned crashed plane, and a case of gangrene to contend with, she has her work cut out for her.

The film on the surface appears to be quality, but somewhere along the line, just doesn’t click. There is nothing wrong with the acting, the story is a fine murder mystery, the direction is good, but for some reason it just doesn’t all gel.  I think it might be just that it has all been seen before, and the film doesn’t really offer anything new to the table. Essentially we have a Wild West sheriff attempting to solve a Holmsian mystery on the set of John Carpenter’s The Thing. I suspect this problem with it stems from the producers being dazzled by the visuals of the comic, but didn’t really see that it was a fairly average mystery story, and when those clever drawn visuals are removed, the story can’t quite hold its own.

Think of it this way; would the film Sin City have been so clever if they had made a straight up colour film adaptation, or would it have been a collection of fairly generic noir (without the noir) stories. I love that film, but am well aware that a good percentage of my affection for it comes from the visuals.

It has all the elements of a great thriller, with a pretty good cast to boot, but somehow, tragically, falls flat.

Score: ***

The Whiteout Bluray menu screen

Extras: After the disc starting with trailers for The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, The Hurt Locker, The Keeper, and a Snickers advert starring Mr. T (remember them? ‘GET SOME NUTS!’) there’s a couple of decent extras on this disc:

Whiteout: The Coldest Thriller Ever is a traditional ‘making of’ documentary. It shows behind the scenes footage and has interviews with various cast and crew. Work-a-day DVD and BD extra stuff.

Whiteout: From Page To Film is a look at this process of writing and drawing the comic, and how it was adapted to the screen. There are some good insights into how an adaptation can work, or not work.

Deleted Scenes: At about 4 minutes you can see that these deleted scenes don’t really show too much extra, though they one shows both an appearance by writer Greg Rucka, and a look at just how mundane Carrie’s regular policing of the station are.

Score: ***

WISIA: Watch it once and give it away.

This film was reviewed with the UK Bluray release.

The killer kills again!

Black Widow (2021)

Black Widow (2021)

The cover to the Australian 4K steelbook

Film: I’ve always been a fan of low powered/ intellectual heroes. Even though I do dig Superman, and Shazam, I do really love the heroes that spend their time saving the day with nothing more that training and skill. It’s why I love characters likes James Bond, Jack Reacher, Alex Cross and I guess I’ve always loved the idea of an ordinary person making a difference, and maybe wishing that perhaps one day I could make a difference to someone’s life in such a heroic way.

To that end I’ve always loved Daredevil, who had a MCU based Netflix series a few years ago, and even though he does have powers with his sonar ‘sight’, a lot of his character comes from his intellect and his agility. It was in Daredevil comics that I first discovered, and fell in love with the character of Black Widow: a strong, non-powered hero who risks everything for her definition of good.

I was extraordinarily happy when Black Widow turned up in the MCU in Iron Man 2, and was even more happy when it was revealed that she was played by Scarlet Johansson, who I loved in things like Ghost World and 8 Legged Freaks.

This movie is the reward that Scarlet Johansson deserved, as her character wasn’t just a hero, but a moral backbone and solid support to the rest of the Avengers, and her appearance in the brilliant spy-thriller Captain America: Winter Soldier turned her into more than that. This film was written by screenwriter Eric Pearson (Godzilla vs Kong and Thor Ragnarok) from a story by Jac Schaeffer (Wandavision) and Ned Benson (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby) and was directed by Lore’s Cate Shortland.

Natasha (Scarlet Johansson) is on the run after the events of Civil War

Black Widow starts in the mid 90s, with us being introduced to a young Natasha Romanov (Ever Anderson), who lives in Ohio with her ’sister’, Yelena (Violet McGraw) and ‘parents’, Alexei (David Harbour) and Melina (Rachael Weisz) who we discover very quickly aren’t a family but instead are Russian sleeper agents. They are discovered and have to quickly escape, and we see that perhaps Alexei is more than he seems, and the family return to their Russian handlers, and are separated.

Flash forward to not-quite-modern day Natasha (Johansson), who is on the run from the American government after the events in the dreaded Captain America sequel Civil War (seriously, that was a Captain America film? Shouldn’t it have been an Avengers movie, or just called Marvel Civil War?) who after receiving some mail from her safe house in Budapest, is attacked by a masked villain who seems to know the Avengers every move, including everything from her own repertoire.

It’s not Natasha that our nemesis is after though, but instead a parcel that is amongst the Budapest mail, that would appear to contain a chemical antidote to a particular form of mind control, and was sent to her by Yelena (Florence Pugh).

Natasha returns to Budapest to find Yelena but very quickly they are attacked by a gang of well-trained women who will seemingly stop and nothing to obtain/ kill them, under the leadership of the aforementioned villain known as the Taskmaster.

This leads the to discover that the training ground that perverts young women, including the both of them, into operatives known as ‘Widows’, the Red Room, is still in operation and so they decide to tear it down once and for all, but they need the help of Alexei and Melina, who may have information to help them find the boss of the Red Room, Dreykov (Ray Winston).

The villainous Taskmaster!

I actually feel sorry for Johansson with the release of this film. Ready to come out just as the global pandemic hit, it was delayed and delayed and then unfortunately dumped onto Disney+, not giving it the opportunity to be the success it perhaps should have been, and garnering a female hero in the Marvel universe the superstardom she may deserve. (yes, I’m aware that Captain Marvel exists but let’s face it, it was shoehorned in so the Avengers actually stood a chance against Thanos).

Johansson continues to play Black Widow as a full-tilt action hero, but with heart and soul. She’s easily the most rounded of all the characters in the Marvel movies and that’s a tribute to her acting ability. She’s probably one of the best cast in the Marvel films.

The addition of Pugh, Weisz and Harbour is refreshing too. These are three actors who have been chosen due to their abilities to act rather than fulfilling a body ideal! He’ll, Harbour even promotes his so-called Dad-bod and can still be a superhero. The best thing about it is that they have been built around Johansson’s character and really feel like a real family, and not a reel family.

There is one problem with this film and that’s cinematic history. Sure, as a Marvel machine movie under the control of The Mouse ™ it was going to have lots of people see it, especially seeing as how the Marvel movies now have a requirement to see everything other wise you’ll miss out on key points to enjoy the total soap opera of it all, but the basic plot line of a Russian school training women to be secret agents has been seen in film before. Before you Marvel Zombies jump on me and say she was around before the other things, yes, I know that (I am a comics fan of 45 years standing), but MCU exclusive fans may not know that and if they don’t know the history they will just see this as a copy of Salt or Red Sparrow, which is a shame.

Thankfully the script is still full of mystery, action and heart, tells a great story about how strong family bonds can be, and that ‘family’ can mean more than who a person can be related to by blood, but can have a greater meaning of support, trust and experience. Shortland’s direction really showcases all this brilliantly, and it’s juxtaposition of some of the very male-gaze shots of the female cast, particularly some Texas Chainsaw Massacre-esque low angled butt shots, make for an unusual visual gumbo that works perfectly.

There are finer details of the film though which are are great addition to Black Widow’s legend. Where she got her training, what her and Hawkeye were doing in Budapest, the so-called ‘red in her ledger’ are all touched upon but not so heavily that this film requires too much knowledge of other Marvel films to make sense. Like the Antman film it does sit outside as an action film by itself.

That’s not to say there isn’t some references back to the comics either; Alexei refers to another character as ‘Big Bear’ and his alter-ego, The Red Guardian, had a teammate in a Russian version of the Avengers in the comics who was a ‘big bear’ named Ursa Major.

It’s a great action film, and Harbour plays a great comedy part to the seriousness of the entire situation. It’s not as bombastic as other Marvel films but it has more heart than most of them and the redemption of Black Widow’s past is a solid addition to her legend, and makes her sacrifice in Endgame a worthwhile one.

Score: ****

The menu screen to the 4K release

Extras: As usual, we have a bunch of extras on this disc, but they are all too short. Considering that Widow is FINALLY getting her due after a career supporting the other Marvel heroes, it’s a shame there was a ‘comic to film’ history of the comic character done for the disc. That seems to be something lacking from a lot of the Marvel disc releases as they distance themselves more and more from the source material.

Sisters Gonna Work It Out looks at the chemistry between Johansson and Pugh, and the way the characters worked together on screen.

Go Big If You’re Going Home looks at the story and the locations and set design of the film. It’s a bit of a confused hodge-podge that wants to tell a lot but doesn’t have the time to tell any of it appropriately.

Gag Reel. The Marvel Gag reels stopped being funny at about Ant-Man. They don’t need to be on here anymore as they look more like deliberately acted gags.

Deleted Scenes: there are 9 deleted scenes, some of which have some beautiful cinematography and it’s a shame to see it wasted, but as usual, the film doesn’t suffer with their absence.

Score: **1/2

WISIA: It’s a Marvel movie, I rewatch Marvel movies, even when they are as bad as Thor Ragnarok, so yeah, it’ll get rewatched.

Yelena (Florence Pugh) gets his with some red gas!

This review was done with the Australian 4K release, with the extras reviewed off the accompanying Bluray.

Hatchet for the Honeymoon (1970)

Hatchet for the Honeymoon (1970)

The slipcase to the Cinema Cult release of Hatchet for the Honeymoon

Film: I have a feeling that I don’t always give enough tribute to the ‘cult’ and horror’ part of my websites tagline, but sometimes it’s hard seeing as how superhero movies come under ‘sci-fi’ or ‘action’ (technically) and as a tiny website drowning in a sea of other bigger, and probably better websites, sometimes having ‘Batman’ or ‘Iron Man’ rather than ‘Dario Argento’ or ‘Mario Bava’ in your tags give you a higher SEO. That may sound a little rude, but even though I do enjoy writing movies, seeing that people are reading them is nice too!

Not today though, my horror loving friends! Today I’m overcoming my need for mainstream validation and it’s all about the aforementioned Mario Bava; easily one of the most important filmmakers of the twentieth century! Bava comes from a family of film experts, his father being Eugenio Bava, a cinematographer from the early days of cinema, and even though Mario trained as a painter, he eventually followed his father’s footsteps but his artistic flair is apparent in almost every film he made.

Stephen Forsyth as the tortured psychopath John Harrington

Seriously, I’m not going to bang on about Bava and his amazing films, but I will say if you DON’T know who he is, fix that immediately by watching things like Black Sabbath, Black Sunday, Blood and Black Lace and one of the best comic-based movies ever made, Danger: Diabolik!

Unfortunately, and at a risk of burying the lead, which is another way of saying ‘SPOILER ALERT’, this film isn’t in that category of ‘Bava’s you must see’.

Hatchet for the Honeymoon tells of John Harrington (Stephen Forsyth), a handsome man who suffers from an intense childhood trauma that he simply can’t remember, but he has discovered that every time he kills a bride, he gets closer to unveiling that which his mind has hidden.

Unfortunately, our dear killer has access to lots of beautiful young women, as he has inherited his mother’s bridal fashion house, which is predominantly kept afloat by the money from his wife, Mildred (Laura Betti), whom he wishes to divorce, but she flatly refuses, instead torturing him with her presence.

Dagmar Lassander as Harrington’s wife, Helen.

She tells him that she is going away for a week, but this is simply a ruse by her to catch him in an infidelity but he is so frustrated by her presence that he kills her and buries her in the garden. Everyone else maintains that they continue to see her about the grounds, which seems to lead John deeper into his madness, and an attempt at yet another murder…

It’s a weird bird, this film. Posing as a giallo but it’s fails to do so as it completely ignores the idea that we, the viewer, are to ‘help’ with the investigation, and we are only to ever see the murders from the killers point of view. Also, the inclusion of the subplot about the wife, which is totally unnecessary as it overcomplicates proceedings and makes the film’s flow choke on several occasions. This film would have been far better with just the idea of the woman-hating murderer having access to so many young women, which is a far scarier idea.

It is, however, beautifully shot and is worth looking at for Bava’s skill behind the camera, but as I stated earlier, there are better films of his to see that.

Score: **1/2

The menu screen for Hatchet for the Honeymoon

Extras: Unfortunately there is just trailers for other films that were released under the ‘Cinema Cult’ label, like the trailer for this film, Masters of the Universe, Dr. Phibes Rises Again, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Electra Glide in Blue, Vanishing Point and Killer Klowns from Outer Space. It’s doesn’t seem like much, and it’s literally just adverts for other products under this label, but I must admit I took a great deal of joy in watching these trailers!

Score: ***

WISIA: No. it’s not REALLY worth the first watch as there are better choices. Want to watch a giallo? Watch Bay of Blood or Tenebrae or Deep Red. Want to watch a film about a madman who kills women? Well, Psycho or Deranged or either versions of Maniac are far better choices.

This film was reviewed with the Australian Cinema Cult edition Bluray.

Stare into the eyes of one of the victims.

Motor Psycho (1965) / Good Morning…and Goodbye! (1967)

Motor Psycho (1965) / Good Morning…and Goodbye! (1967)

The cover to the Arrow release of the films

Film: I think comparing Russ Meyer to Walt Disney is a fair one. Both men created an empire by making films aimed at a specific audience, unfortunately, ol’ Russ never got to make himself a theme park based on HIS cinema… I am sure a Tura Satana roller coaster would have been an excuse to go to America alone!! I am sorry, but give me the Wonderful World of Russ Meyer over the Wonderful World of Disney any day! A world where political correctness means not being a dirty Commie, where ‘Double D’ is flat chested, the definition of a city is a petrol station, a strip club and a junkyard in the middle of the desert, fast cars are a sign of machismo and slapping a woman across the face after she has spat at you is classed as foreplay.

We can all only pray that one day the world returns to those old fashioned values. (Before you slam the site, yes, this is all tongue-in-cheek and I’m not serious)

In the meantime, we still have Meyer’s films to remind us that Misogyny isn’t an entrant is the Miss America pageant.

This particular disc has two of Meyer’s masterpieces on show, and they are the rape/ revenge flick Motor Psycho and Good Morning… and Goodnight, which is a tale that is hard to define in a sub-genre, though ‘immorality play’ might be the closest.

They may look like posties, but they are a tough motorcycle gang!

Motor Psycho tells of a three man motorcycle gang… well, I say motorcycle, but they are effectively of Postie’s scooters… who are general miscreants and civil disturbers. Led by War veteran, and total nutjob Brahmin (Steve Oliver) the three set about picking on women wherever they can. They chance upon Gail Maddox (Holle K. Winters) whom they set about harassing, that is until her husband; horse vet Cory (Alex Rocco) turns up and pushed Brahmin to the ground. This gets Brahmin angry and they hang around until Cory leaves the house before setting themselves on Gail.

Cory arrives home from a job only to find that his wife has been assaulted and raped, and sets it on himself to track the gang down himself, after the local Sherriff (E.E. Meyer aka Russ himself) discounts the assault and rape, claiming it’s what women are made for and the she probably brought it upon herself (oh yeah, you read that right).

So Cory sets out to track down the gang, and on the way picks up a sidekick in the form of Ruby Bonner (Haji) whose husband had been murdered by the gang, and she herself had been left for dead. The pair track the gang into some hills in the middle of a desert, and after an encounter with a snake, set about exacting their revenge.

Haji, ready for action!

This film is classic Meyer, and a blast to watch. It’s melodramatic to a T (wait until you see the delivery of the line ‘She was assaulted; criminally assaulted!’ when Cory speaks of his wife’s attack)The characters are all traditional Meyer’s ones; the tough guy, the busty hard chick, the doddering, emasculated ol’ fart… you know the ones… and his usual not so subtle indicators are there too; from Ruby being forced to suck out snake venom (Cory’s cries of ‘Suck it…SUCK IT!’ are hilarious)to when Cory finally gets an opportunity to get his revenge, the dynamite he uses is particularly phallic in its display. This really has all of Meyer’s favourite stuff in it: groovy music, hot babes and macho men… you know, everything, including the ‘kitsching’ sink.

The next feature is Good Morning… and Goodnight! Which I admit I did really enjoy at all except for the typically sexy and lumpy women, Meyer has used to play the female roles. I admit, that it starts perfectly, with Cara Peters running inexplicably naked through the woods in slow motion as a Greek chorus tells what sort of tale we are about to endure… I mean enjoy, and introduces the main characters…

… and then the enjoyment dries up.

This film tells of Burt (Stuart Lancaster) whose wife Angel (Alaina Capri) is dissatisfied with their sexlife, and so goes looking for schlong pretty much well anywhere she can find it, but repeatedly with local tough guy Stone (Patrick Wright). Unfortunately, Stone roots everything he can get his knob into, and starts looking at Burt’s daughter, Angel’s step daughter, Lana (Karen Ciral), who is starting to get sick of her boyfriend, the effeminate Ray (Don Johnson… no, not THAT Don Johnson) constantly checking out her step mother… are you following so far?

The very picture of innocence!

OK: While out  on his property one day, Burt comes (almost literally) across a witch, played by Haji, who using her spells and potions, allows Burt to reclaim his virility, control of his now wayward daughter, and his wife.

Awwww. What a nice ending.

This story is terrible, and unfortunately isn’t made any better by the lack of nudity, which would have been the only saving grace. Sure Motor Psycho doesn’t have any nudity in it, but the story is enough to keep interest.  We do get to see some ladies bottoms in this one, but nothing else, and the story just isn’t engaging enough to allow that to be enough (and honestly the bottoms aren’t  that great). The whole film is just people constantly insulting each other, but not in a Don Rickles/ amusing way and it becomes boring quickly. 

There are themes explored in this film that Meyer did SOOOOO much better in other films, Beneath the Valley of the Ultra Vixens immediately springs to mind.

Haji as the witch

As far as watching this disc as a whole is concerned, this is a nice pair of Haji flicks, but really its worth it only for Motor Psycho.

This is a quite uneven representation of Meyer’s films in my book. Motor Psycho is a cool, if not slightly innocent example of a rape/revenge flick, whereas Good Morning… and Goodbye! Is a morality play with no morals… which may be the point, but it feels like a single idea, of witchcraft helping a man regain his virility and control of his life, fleshed out for far too long. Still the women and dialogue is classic Meyer, and that in itself makes for a fun double feature.

Score: ***1/2

The menu of the dvd

Extras: Only trailers present on this disc, but they are trailers for faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Blacksnake!, Mudhoney, Vixen, Wild Gals of the Naked West, Supervixens, Beneath the Valley of the Ultravixens, Cherry, Harry and Raquel and Common Law Cabin.

Score: **1/2

WISIA: I honestly can’t see myself watching these particular Meyer films again if I felt like watching a Meyer film or two.

Reviewed on the Arrow Video DVD.

Meyer’s films always seem to be set somewhere hot!

Free Guy (2021)

Free Guy (2021)

The Australian 4K release of Free Guy

Film: Ryan Reynolds is just a loveable hunk, right?

Whether or not he’s a good actor or not doesn’t matter, because basically he has mostly just played that loveable goofball, who has the heart of a hero. Whether it’s the guy from Deadpool, or the guy from Green Lantern, or the guy from Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Shop, or in this film where he plays Guy, Reynolds has made a profession of being the world’s big brother, funny uncle and cool cousin all at once.

Now imagine if you could take Reynolds and stick him in a video game that is a mixture of Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto and The Sims, and mix it with movies like The Truman Show and Ready Player One, but make it palatable for anyone (mainly due to Reynolds charm, but also due to co-stars Taika Waititi’s comedy stylings, Jody Comer’s heroic violence, and maybe just a touch of teen heart-throb Joe Keery’s disarming inherent magnetism), and Free Guy is exactly what you’ve got.

Free Guy tells of Guy (Reynolds), a middle aged bank teller living in Free City, who longs to feel love. He’s generally happy with his life, tolerating the constant violence from the ‘sunglasses people’, who are ‘heroes’ who’s work he admires, even when they are robbing his bank or murdering his friends.

Guy (Ryan Reynolds) and his bestie Buddy (Lil Rel Howery)

The beautiful thing about Free City is no matter what happens, everyone comes back… because Guy is an NPC in a video game, and in video games, everyone gets a respawn, even the ‘sunglasses people’, who in reality, are players in our world.

The problem is, Guy doesn’t know he’s a video game character, and one day he sees the girl of his dreams, but molotovgirl (Comer) isn’t a computer game character, she’s one of us, but not just one of us, she’s a game programmer named Millie, who along with her programming partner, Keys (Keery) have had the code for a game they produced stolen by evil game designer Antwon (Waititi).

Millie has been regularly raiding the game to try and find evidence of this, but doing it solo. Guy manages to get his hands on a pair of sunglasses and finds that they reveal all the ‘gamification’ of the city, like power ups and missions, and very quickly he starts to level up to try and impress molotovgirl.

At first, Guy becomes an internet sensation with his heroic actions, but very soon Antwon decides it time to shut him down, because the ‘player’ shouldn’t be more important than the game, and with a sequel to his game on the rise, maybe it’s time to shut the old one down anyway…

It’s a massively fun movie, with both big laughs and a fair bit of warmth to it as well. It’s sardonic sideways look at the video game industry is a little scathing too, especially that of Antwon, who is clearly riffing on the douchebaggy Twitch streamer-types who seem to have the most popularity.

Having said that, the idea of a games developer being able to find their code by playing a game seems to be something that’s not real (I’m no games programmer so I can’t be sure) so there is a sense of disbelief required to enjoy this film.

The cast are perfect in their roles and play off each other wonderfully. There’s some surprises in here too, with several actual streamers turning up, like Pokimane and DanTDM, amongst others, and there is one special Marvel cameo towards the end that initially stuck out the the proverbial for me, but I grew to love.

The effects in this movie are excellent too. Free City feels like an established game with a huge population, with some people being really good at it, and the occasional filthy casual (which is essentially me online) just sucking. The effects of the world when one is wearing the glasses is probably over gamified, but it clearly is holding your hand so you can tell the difference between the NPCs and the players impression of the world. At times it feels like it might be a scathing look at the online committee of

All in all, Free Guy definitely deserves a watch if you like video games and want a laugh, or if you love the Reynolds or Waititi doing their things.

Score: ****1/2

The menu screen to the Australian 4K release

Extras: There aren’t any extras on the 4K disc, but thankfully the regular Bluray is included so the extras off that are present!

Deleted/ Extended Scenes as usual, the film doesn’t suffer for these scenes not being in the film, but I did like seeing director Levy as ‘Hot Nuts’ in a scene where his character is randomly killed by a player.

Gag Reel – somewhere along the lines, gag reels either got less funny or I lost part of ,y sense of humour, either way, there’s a couple of bits that will raise a smile, but no big guffaws, I’m afraid.

Dude vs Guy looks behind the scenes at the effects and choreography of the fantastic final battle between our hero, Guy versing the arch-nemesis that he didn’t even know he had, Dude, a muscular, half-programmed video game character who looks like the sexy, body-builder version of himself. Fascinating.

Creating Molotov Girl looks at the performance and creation of the two characters Jodie Comer creates, Molotov Girl in the game, and Millie, the real world character. Not just Comer’s performance, actually, but also character and costume and how they all create the persona in a film. There might be a little bit of a look at the psyche of gamers and how they become the perfect version of themselves, or a completely different version of themselves in video games.

It’s Taika’s World looks at the creation of Taika Waititi’s character, game designer, and evil villain, Antwan. For me this was the most fun I’ve ever had watching him act, as his performance of that douchebaggy successful nerd type is absolutely hilarious, and seeing where it came from here is amazing.

Welcome to Free City is an overview of what the film is about, the themes and the general production. It’s a typical hype thing but still quite engaging.

There’s also three trailers.

Score: *****

WISIA: This film has become one of my favourite, as a sci-fi, a comedy and as a video game inspired film, but I’m not sure how rewatchable it may be. I’ve watched it twice and feel like I don’t need to do it again. Time will tell, I guess.

The world of Free City through the lens of the players sunglasses.

This review was performed with the Australian 4K release of the film.