The Children


Director: Tom Shankland (2008)
Starring: Eva Birthistle, Stephen Campbell Moore, Hannah Tointon.
Find it online: IMDB, Amazon UK, Amazon US

Twatty Parents vs Malevolent Brats (or Eden Lake: The Toddler Years) pits a bunch of hippy liberal types against their own children when the wee toddlers become infected with some unknown virus. Could You Kill a Child? If it was as evil as the brats in The Children, then yes. During a winter break, two families enjoy a bourgeois get-together; simpering about business plans, bragging about their equally knobbish kids and unveiling twee plans to start home education. It's little wonder that the children should decide to start violently murdering their parents. And with not a copy of Grand Theft Auto around for the Daily Mail to blame, either.

As you might expect from such subject matter, The Children is horrible. Those with little tolerance for violence towards children in movies would do well to avoid this movie, since few punches are pulled (the shots don't linger, and a fair bit is implied, but director Tom Shankland in no way shies away from having his children violently killed). That said, the adults definitely get the raw end of the deal here. There's eyeball trauma, a multitude of stabbings/bludgeonings and a veritable bathtub of the red stuff spilled here. It's realistic, disturbing violence and is genuinely shocking whenever it happens (usually in short, sharp bursts).

It has a fairly interesting subtext too, which is nice. It's good to see a horror flick with a subtext that extends beyond "TORTURE. PHOAR LOOK." Okay, it's nothing incredibly deep, but it's still a thought provoker. Who's to blame? Well, probably the hippy parents. If only they'd brought a Nintendo Wii, all the bloodshed could probably have been avoided. There's a scene where one of the parents rather harshly beats his son on the arse. Does violence beget violence? Someone's not been watching Supernanny. A wee spell on the Naughty Step coulda' sorted the whole sorry affair out pronto.

The acting is excellent, even by the children. I was particularly impressed by relative newcomer Hannah Tointon (a Hollyoaks cast member, of all things), who plays a moody teenage type. She's adorably cute (it's okay, she's 22: I checked) and less annoying than her character could've so easily been. Talking of annoying: the parents pretty much all deserve to die. Particularly grating are the hippy would-be homeschoolers. I was home educated, but the homeschoolers in The Children made me want to join forces with Ed Balls and ban the practice altogether. So the parents are dickish, but that's the point. And the actors do it well. Plus they get what's coming to them (and then some). So it's a fair trade-off.

In all, The Children is a sharp, shocking little Brit horror that perfectly suits the child hater in all of us. This movie is a great advertisement for contraceptives.

Deadgirl


Director: Marcel Sarmiento & Gadi Harel (2009)
Starring: Shiloh Fernandez, Noah Segan, Jenny Spain
Find it online: IMDB, Amazon UK, Amazon US

A sweet romance about a couple of boys who find a zombie strapped to a table in a basement. Like Twilight, except from a lad’s perspective. The boys then proceed to rape their zombie from every possible angle. Because, as we all know, when girls meet a fantastical creature they fall in love and bat their eyelashes a lot. Boys, however, will apparently rape anything in sight. Even the seemingly nice ones. Lesson learned: men is bastards.

Deadgirl is one of those movies that gives horror (and, by implication, its fans) a bad name. It presents a nihilist vision of both maledom and the world as a whole, suggesting that men are, as a sex, incapable of keeping our cock sheathed, even if the lady says no. I resent that. I was sixteen once, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t go around raping zombies. Even the ones that were really, really hot and naked and strapped to a table. Maybe I’m a na├»ve optimist (I’m not) but I don’t think many blokes would find the vision of strapped-down zombie flesh particularly inviting. Sure, our hero (Fernandez) is reluctant to follow his friend’s (Segan) rapey ways, but loyalty can only take you so far - and he takes far too long to decide to do anything about it. Jeez, the dirty bastard’s raping a zombie. I think that pretty much exceeds the limit of loyalty, and then some.

It’s a good concept, but one that’s gone all cack-handed and is a little too nihilistic in its view of the male gender. To even have one character show a little proper revulsion wouldn’t have been so hard, would it? On a particularly sour note: the way it's been marketed as a "coming of age" movie. The tagline? 'You Never Forget your First Time'. Especially not if your first time's with the zombie you raped. It's a universal thing. 'Every generation has its story about the horror of growing up trying not to rape someone'.

With all that distaste in mind, Deadgirl still manages to be compelling viewing, so I suppose it’s mostly intentional stuff. The acting is fine enough, and the direction is darn good. If only the script hadn’t spoiled by the man-hating agenda. The characterisation is sloppy and one-note, whilst the story is filled with too many unbelievable actions. It's supposed to be a moral dilemma, but it just doesn't work. Even worse, it's an apparently unclear message; so open to interpretation that idiots on youtube will very easily confuse the people who watch Deadgirl with the people in it.

Well done, Deadgirl. Now I'm never gonna get a girlfriend because I watched you. But wait... this is a bad review... so surely that statement doesn't apply to me...


Oh, cock.

As a result of the characters' unholy arseholeyness, the best parts of the movie are the ones in which Deadgirl's various bastards get their comeuppances. Behold, much penis munching (and not the good kind), gore and violence. And a particularly funny scene in which the lads try and kidnap themselves a new victim (a lot funnier than it sounds).

Do excuse me. Deadgirl seems to have awakened my inner Germaine Greer. It's a competent, well-made movie that rightfully (I suppose) gained itself a fair bit of controversy last year. It's no game-changer, and it certainly isn't as good as the hype suggests. Who is the audience supposed to be for this, anyway? Judging by the sexy poster and the lingering shots of nuddy Deadgirl, its target audience is the one Deadgirl is supposed to be critiquing. It's a self-perpetuating cycle that will further damage the reputation of horror fans and probably lead to me being put on a register of some sort, simply for having ever rented this movie. Silly, silly, silly men and our inability to resist raping zombies.

Thirst


Director: Park Chan-Wook (2009)
Starring: Song Kang-ho, Kim Ok-bin, Shin Ha-kyun
Find it online: IMDB, Amazon UK, Amazon US

Not your typical vampire love story. But then, it's directed by Park Chan-wook of Oldboy and I'm a Cyborg but that's OK fame, so you already knew that. Priest Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho) works at a hospital, providing ministry for dying patients. Dissatisfied with his lot in life, Sang-hun volunteers to be infected with a particularly nasty virus, in the hope of finding a cure. No such luck. He dies, along with 500 other infected unfortunates. Bad times.

But death is not to be. Sang-hyun recieves a blood transfusion which apparently cures his particular dose of death. What looks like a miracle turns out to be something entirely different. See, Sang-hyun becomes a vampire. Has to drink blood on a regular basis, otherwise he'll revert to his messy state of dead. More bad times.

Whilst dealing with his vampirism, Sang-hyun happens across childhood crush Tae-ju (Kim Ok-bin); now married to a cancer suffering hypochondriac and suffering under the dictatorship of Lady Ra. Because alienated weird types are always attracted to vampires, Tae-ju falls for Sang-hyun and they begin a secret romance. Alas, a vampire's lot in life death is never a happy one, and things quickly snowball out of control, ending in much violence, bloodshed and nastiness. Bad times.

Just when you'd thought the vampire myth had nothing left to offer, something always comes along to prove you wrong. For every Twi-shite, there's a Let the Right one In; for every Vampire Diaries, there's a Being Human. The vampire myth is a resilient one, constant in its refusal to bow down against the shit that besmirches its name. There are a lot of vampire romances about at the moment, but few of them work as well as Thirst.

For one, it's not afraid to be kinky. Thirst boasts some of the steamiest vamp action I've seen in a long time (well, since the graveyard sex scenes in True Blood, anyway). There's lots of sex in the first half of the movie, and it's surprisingly hot and sweaty stuff. Mind you, the poster does have a fella with some sexy lady-legs wrapped around his neck, so that should clue you in a bit. But there's a sweet side to things too. It's a lovely little romance, not hampered by shitty dialogue, heart-throb actors or religious agenda. It's properly funny. It's violent. It's silly. It's spooky. Thirst is what it is. And what Thirst is, mostly, is bloody good.

It's believable stuff (well, as believable as a film about vampires ever could be, I suppose). Whereas there's a temptation to romanticise this sort of affair, Thirst shows the fucked up side of vampire love. Things get bitter and vicious, which is all very recognizeable if you've ever had a relationship at any point, ever. Maybe they should have called this 500 (nights of vampirism), since it's as much about the degredation of a relationship as it is vampirism. Having said that, there's a lovely lack of whingeing too. Whiny immortals have become commonplace, but Sang-hyun largely gets on with things. You can see his distaste with the whole thing - and he shoulders a coffinload of guilt later on - but there's a refreshing lack of proper moping to his movements. Indeed, you actually see him taking proper steps to stop things before they get any worse.

Despite the fierce originality to this and the rest of Chan-wook's films, Thirst isn't afraid to stick very closely to the already established vampire mythos. His bloodsuckers are properly dead, allergic to sunlight, sleep in coffins and have all the superhuman abilities of a Blade character. And these jumping across rooftops and big vampy fight scenes fit quite well with the spookier, more subtle stuff, ensuring Thirst never gets boring, no matter how long it goes on.

And yes, it is a bit on the long side. But there are enough beats to the story to keep up the momentum and stop lethargy from setting in too much. The final scenes are amongst the best I've ever seen, both in terms of action (it's violent, funny and slapsticky stuff) and proper, stick-in-yer-throat emotion. Thirst comes highly recommended, even if you think you've had your fill of modern vampire flicks. Good times.

Ichi the Killer (manga review)


Well, this started off as an intro to a review of Uzumaki (for the Final Girl Film Club) and then I went and realised how much I bloody love Ichi the Killer. There were a good few years when I was quite obsessed with our weeping friend Ichi. The movie itself was easy enough to track down – and I even saw the prequel and Anime DVDs - but the Manga was something of a holy grail for me. And then, whilst doing a little Uzumaki research, I went and found a bunch of Ichi books online. Thank the Jebus for free Manga websites. (I don’t normally supply naughty streaming websites and suchlike, but since translated Ichi books aren’t easily available, here: knock yaself out).

Takashi Miike’s Ichi the Killer is infamous amongst lovers of extreme cinema. Even the cut version (the only one available here in the UK) is pretty nasty stuff. It’s deliriously perverse and cruel, filled with as much intense, sexualised violence as one might expect from a Miike movie. But with works such as this – particularly where an auteur like Miike is involved – it’s easy to forget its inspiration. And in Ichi's case, Hideo Yamamoto's Manga deserves every bit as much credit as Miike’s seminal adaptation. Maybe even a little more credit on the nastiness front, simply because it has this:

Yes, that's a picture of exactly what you think it's a picture of.

The plot is largely the same as in the movie, although it’s obvious that Miike has excised a lot of excess baggage. The titular Ichi is an assassin for a mysterious short-ass gangster figure. He keeps razor blades in his shoes, and cries a lot. After Ichi rids the world of a rival mob boss, sadomasochistic loon Kakihara is sicced on Ichi. It takes a while to get going, but anyone who reads Manga will know that they like to drag things out a fair bit. It’s also more melodramatic than the movie version, with a lot of forlorn expressions, forelorn wanking and doleful sulking going on. And, if you’ve experienced the movie first, then you’ll probably be quite impatient waiting for Kakihara to arrive. When he shows up, things instantly improve. Ultimate masochist Kakihara is possibly my favourite movie villain of all time, and he’s just as good in comic-book form (although he looks slightly less rockstar-ish, in his conservative black suit & Hitler haircut. The glasgow smile's still there though, as are the piercings and a few extra, um, bits...)

It’s a fun little read, even if it does meander a bit much. The game of cat-and-mouse between Ichi and Kakihara is the movie and the manga’s strongest point, but eleven-odd books is taking it a bit far. It goes up to where the movie finishes, and then there’s a whole bunch of extra chapters on top of that. Miike streamlines the book, which is very much a good thing. It takes one character ten (and counting) pages to fall off a building. It takes so long for him to fall that a line of dialogue even reads “falling”.

With the movie, Miike has kept all the good stuff and got rid of much of the filler, making it more cinematic and streamlined. While Ichi throwing his shoes at a nekkid Kakihara is amusing in the books, it hardly makes for thrilling cinema. All the elements are there, but Mister Miike has amped things up by several notches and got rid of a number of pointless dialogue scenes. Still intact: every bit of gruesome violence you remember from the flick, and then some.

All in all, the Manga version of Ichi the Killer is well worth a read, especially if you're a fan of the movie. The story remains compelling and cool, whilst the characters are plenty grotesque, fun, cool and - certainly in Kakihara's case - genuinely iconic. I'm not really a fan of Manga, but Ichi the Killer is still one of my favourite comics of all time. A must read, if you can stomach all the penile mutilation and whatnot.

Obligatory Valentines' Post I: Valentine


Director: Jamie Blanks (2001)
Starring: David Boreanaz, Denise Richards, Katherine Heigel
Find it online: IMDB, Amazon UK, Amazon US


They say Valentines’ Day is but an excuse for greeting card companies to make lots and lots of lovely money. But also, and like most holidays and seasonal occasions: a tie-in horror movie.

My Bloody Valentine is probably the most obvious candidate. Last year’s one has already been reviewed here, but rest assured that the original version is up for review soon. For now (because it’s not Valentines’ Day just yet. We don’t wanna waste the main attraction) how about the shitty 2001 slasher flick starring David Boreanaz?

Make no Bones about it, Valentine isn't a very good movie.
Bones... geddit?
GET IT

Director Jamie Blanks is most famous for the quite-similar Urban Legend, which should clue you in on how good Valentine isn’t. Actually, it’s not as good as Urban Legend, which should also clue you in on how good Valentine isn’t. It stars Angel from off’ve Buffy, although he looks utterly bored throughout (and, reportedly, spent as little time as he could filming the thing). Denise Richards and Lady Knocked Up from off’ve Knocked Up show up to no memorable effect.

The only thing I remember about this movie is repeatedly thinking “I bet David Boreanaz is the killer” throughout, and then feeling like a smartass when the final ‘twist’ proved me right. But, well, guessing the twist to Valentine is like arguing over the internet or beating someone at Warhammer: even if you win, you’re still retarded: and you watched Valentine from start to finish. It’s as hollow a victory as the Question Time thing with Thick Griffin: oh well done, you made a moron look stupid. Valentine is such a dull movie that I just wasted a whole paragraph on an entirely different subject, just so’s to avoid having to think any more about the dull dullness that is Valentine.

Alumni from the Megan Fox school of acting show how it's done in Vacant Expressions of Vague Unease: The Movie.

Our killer’s vendetta starts in the 80s’. It’s the Valentines’ Day dance, and poor schmuck Jeremy just can’t seem to get a date. Rejected by all the hot girls in his school, he has little option but to make out with the class fatty. To add insult to injury, fatty claims that Jeremy assaulted her, and has him beaten up. As motives go, Jeremy’s is pretty pathetic, but hey, guys tend not to forget that sort of thing. Years later: a loon in a Cupid mask is stalking the girls, murdering them up one-by-one. But surely the movie wouldn’t be so dumb as to have the most obvious candidate end up being the killer…. Right?

Oh.

If you like bloodless Scream rip-offs, you might just be able to tolerate Valentine. At least it’s forgettable enough to not really matter in the long term. Valentine is the equivalent of the sympathy Valentines’ card that your mother or your fucking cat sends every year. And all this seasonal-movie nonsense just raises a much bigger, far more important question: where the fuck is my Pancake Day horror movie?!?

Memoirs of a Geisha: Takashi Miike style


Director: Takashi Miike (2006)
Starring: Billy Drago, Youki Kudoh, Michie
Find it online: IMDB, Amazon UK, Amazon US

However anyone ever thought Takashi Miike’s Imprint would ever get anywhere near TV broadcast is truly beyond me. I like how people were surprised when it was revealed that Miike had made something too horrible for TV. Yep, Imprint is hands down one of the most traumatic pieces of torture horror I’ve ever seen. Now, most of this is down to the torture itself, but also it's because Imprint is incredibly, indellibly, inedibly fucked up.

We’re in nineteenth century Japan. American journalist Christopher (Drago) is touring the country’s brothels in search of his love, Komomo; who he hopes to buy back from her dwarfo syphilitic pimp. But alas, the course of true love never did run smooth – she’s dead.

He’s told this by a disabled-faced unnamed hooker (Kudoh), who plies him with Sake and begins telling him her life story. This being a Miike film – think of it as his version of Memoirs of a Geisha - things inevitably get a lot more disturbing. By the time we get to the Japanese rope bondage and the forcing of bamboo down fingernails, things are already horrible enough. But Miike’s nowhere near done. Oh look, rape. Oooh, lovely, dead foetuses. Some of the imagery Miike delivers is as beautifully haunting as it is horrible. Well, mostly horrible. Whoever made that episode about the stupid fucking ice cream clown should be ashamed – Miike proves himself a master of horror in the truest sense. Some of the scenes in Imprint easily equal his own Audition and Ichi the Killer in terms of cringe-inducing nastiness, whilst there's a bit of Gozu style surrealism to his island of "demons and whores" too. Most of the other Masters of Horror episodes could have been directed by anyone; even Dario Argento's sublime Jenifer wasn't particularly recognizeable as an Argento flick in of itself (and the less said about Tobe Hooper's Dance of the Dead the better). Imprint, however, is a Takashi Miike film through and through. Those familiar with Miike's work will be somewhat unsurprised by the extremes to which the film travels. Everyone else will be shocked, traumatised, sickened and [insert other such outraged emotions].

Sadly, there are a few things that let Imprint down. Most notably, the decision to have all the dialogue spoken in English. It’s understandable for the scenes with Drago, but for the most part, it seems like a silly and commercial idea. And, even worse, the Japanese actresses suck at English. It sounds quite comical where it shouldn't, and really takes you out of the story. Billy Drago's performance is by turns wooden and overly melodramatic (if such a combination is possible) but not completely terrible. Still, it's an impressive achievment that Imprint got made at all, especially when you consider that the director doesn't speak English. Other niggles: the final reveal is perhaps a bit stupid; some of the CGI and practical effects suck - the syphilitic dwarf's nose looks distractingly rubbish.

Like much of the director's work, Imprint is divisive. Some will see it as just another torture turd, and will see the myriad of gruesomeness presented as deliberately attention-seeking and controversy for controversy's sake. It's a minor work, to be sure, but no means to be dismissed. After all, one suspects that very few would have given a shit about Masters of Horror were it not for this episode. It's ironic - Miike refuses to be labelled as just a 'horror director' - and then he goes and makes the most horrifying Masters episode of them all.

My 10 favourite horror heroines.


In association with women in horror month, and a follow up to my Top 10 villainesses list.

Dishonourable mention: Mary-Sue Swan (Kristen Stewart; Twi-shite/New Moan) Surprise surprise, Bella fucking Swan isn't on this list or even anywhere near it.

10. Cherry Darling (Rose McGowan; Planet Terror) - Okay, so the machine gun leg might be a bit of a rip off of Ash's chainsaw hand, but I'm still a big fan of Rose McGowan's brand of one-legged awesomeness. While we're on the whole Grindhouse thing, Tarantino's Death Proof girls deserve a mention too; if only for achieving the rather admirable feat* of making Kurt Russell cry like a baby girl.

* no, Quentin, not that kind of feat.

9. Milla Jovovich in Anything (Milla Jovovich; literally, Anything) - Yes, I'm an enormous fan of the Jovovich, even in shitty movies like the Resident Evil sequels. Maybe it's because she gets naked a lot, or possibly because I think she's a good actress. Mostly the former, but also the latter. If this list has proved anything, it's that there's a dearth of proper female roles in our horror, hence that obvious bit of filler on this list.

8. Tracey (Jennifer Ellison; The Cottage) - If it weren't for the psycho farmer running round murdering people, Jennifer Ellison's Tracey would probably be The Cottage's villain. She starts off as kidnap victim, but is anything but passive or helpless. Whether it be breaking Reece Shearsmith's nose (whilst tied up and gagged, no less) or effin' & a'blinding like a trooper, she's by far the movie's most malevolent - and perhaps its best - character. Impressive, when you consider she's played by an ex-Brookside cast member.

7. Jody (Brittany Murphy; Cherry Falls) - RIP Brittany Murphy. Never made enough horror movies for my liking. The movie may not have been great, but Brittany Murphy was. She turned the idea of the virginal Final Girl on its head, oozing pure Sexy as she did.

6.Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton; Terminator) or Vicky (Linda Hamilton; Children of the Corn) - Never mind the character, Linda Hamilton. So tough that I never could buy her being bullied around by Arnie Schwarznegger; let alone a bunch of children in Children of the Corn. I'd have liked to see her smash that ginger fuck kid's face in, but there you go. Again, doesn't make enough horror flicks for my liking.

5. Kate Fuller (Juliette Lewis; From Dusk Till Dawn) - Like Milla Jovovich, I'll watch Juliette Lewis in anything. She was awesome in Natural Born Killers and is similarly ace offing vampires in this. Again, it's hard to see her taking shit from the likes of George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino though. I'd make a joke about her telling Tarantino to stick his foot fetish up his ass, but he'd probably like that sort of thing.

4. Sarah (Shauna MacDonald; The Descent) - It being my favourite horror movie of last decade, The Descent's Sarah was bound to be on this list. Not only does the poor woman have to contend with seeing her hubby and child die violently in a rather grisly car accident, she's forced to put up with a shitty friend, a caving accident and a bunch of naked cannibal mutant types trying to eat her.

3. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis; The Halloween series) - Michael Myers' sister and the woman who managed to lop his head off, before being ignominiously dispatched herself in Resurrection. An iconic lady of the genre. And I'm talking the Jamie Lee Curtis version of the character, needless to say. The Laurie as posited in Zombieweiner is just another tired cut-and-paste Final Girl jobbo.

2. Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) - Sure, she's not given much to do aside from run around screaming and be tied up screaming, but for me, Marilyn Burns is the quintessential Scream Queen. She did the same again in Tobe Hooper's Eaten Alive, but to somehow lesser effect. Perhaps it was the lack of jumping through windows and less opportunity for eardrum-shattering shrieking. It's a shame Burns didn't make a few more movies, but given her treatment at the hands of Hooper and his ropes, it's understandable why she wouldn't want to...

1. Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver; The Alien movies) - Marilyn Burns may be my favourite Scream Queen, but there's no denying Sigourney Weaver's proper badassery. Ripley is a woman who makes tracksuit bottoms look hard; a woman who looks more suited to a skinhead haircut than long hair; a woman that beat the shit outta Ron Perlman without breaking sweat. Also: looks surprisingly hot as a ten-foot-tall blue alien. Really.

Evil Women: my favourite lady horror icons


In honour of women in horror month.

10. The Ladies of Summersisle (Wicker Man, 2006) - Yes, I'm taking the piss a little. But hey, they did burn Nicolas Cage alive and steal his self-help tapes. Harsh.

9. Carrie (um, Carrie) - Maybe a little too sympathetic to be a proper villain - and certainly not an 'evil woman' - but she did kill a fuckload of people; including John Travolta. Considering how he treated Olivia Newton John in that film about the grease, I'm surprised it hadn't happened sooner, to be honest.

8. Jenifer (Masters of Horror, Jenifer) - The second-most disturbing Masters of Horror episode (top marks go to Takashi Miike's effort), Dario Argento's Jenifer sees Steven Weber answer an age old question; if a chick had a really, really hot body but a really, really fugly head, would you still fuck her? Steven Weber definitely would. After saving her from a murderous loon, cop Frank Spivey takes hideously face-disabled Jenifer into his care. He's understandably preturbed when she starts eating cats and children, and chases his wife away. But she's really good at sex, so he decides to stick with it.

7. Mother (Psycho) - "They fuck you up, your mom and dad." And by gosh, Mama Bates had quite the effect on Norman's formative years, turning him into the stabby loon we all know and love. Impressive work, for someone who's been dead for a fair few years.

6. Henrietta (Evil Dead II) - Yes, another bloke in drag. Watch for the bit near the end where Henrietta's armpit leaks a bucketload of sweat. If they ever decide to make a movie of Susan Boyle's life, it'll probably resemble the Henrietta scenes in Evil Dead II.

5. Mrs. Ganush (Drag me to Hell) - Resembles Ted Raimi, but isn't actually played by the fella. Possibly the grisliest of the ladies on this list, what with her penchants for squirting bodily fluids everywhere and getting battered with a stapler.

4. Pamela Voorhees (Friday the 13th) - Naw, not the Nana Visitor version (boringly beheaded before the credits were even finished) but rather the hairy-handed lady who killed Kevin Bacon and a campful of partying kids. Jason Voorhees is the better, more established horror icon; but don't forget he owes everything to mummy dearest.

3. The Alien Queen (Aliens) - She rips Lance Henrikssen in half, before going one-on-one with Sigourney Weaver's Ripley. Hardcore. There was another Alien Queen in Resurrection, but that was fucking stupid and she died only moments later.

2. Annie Wilkes (Misery) - Kathy Bates rightfully won an Oscar for her portrayal of uber-fan Annie Wilkes in Misery. Unlike many of the ladies on this list, Annie is an imposing figure straight off the bat. Nowhere near being nominated for anything, ever (well, maybe a razzie): any of the Homecoming lot.

1. Asami (Audition) - Ouch. A previously sweet but dry romantic drama becomes something entirely different in the movie's second act, which will give twattish men everywhere nightmares. The torture scenes may not last very long, but they're bloody traumatic. Once seen, never forgotten.

Perfect Getaway


Director: David Twohy (2009)
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Steve Zahn, Timothy Olyphant, Kiele Sanchez
Find it online: IMDB, Amazon UK, Amazon US

Like Turistas, but with a twist, a better script and good characters. Perfect Getaway sees Steve Zahn on honeymoon with Milla Jovovich. If you can get over that daft idea, then you shouldn't have too much trouble with the movie's considerable second-half twists.

So Zahn and Jovovich wind up hiking to a remote beach (a bit like Lost, but no monsters and no Jackface) in Hawaii. Along the way, they meet up with Nick (Olyphant) and Gina (Sanchez). Travelling along, they also discover that there's a psychopath on the loose, murdering vacationing couples. Is the killer amongst their party? Or could it be the Natural Born Killers-esque hitch-hikers that follow our couples around acting all mean and surly, like??

Perfect Getaway is a delightfully odd movie. It's not a comedy/horror per-se, but there's a cutely humorous streak to the proceedings. All of the actors and actresses involved do a good job; Olyphant's character is a rather annoying dick (full of "bullshitty" stories, as Zahn's character puts it) and Zahn overplays things a tad, but it's all good fun. And hey, this is a movie that the ladies and non-hetero horror fans can enjoy too; it's filled with shots of Olyphant's ass and six-pack. Heck, I'd probably even tap that. By the look of it, Zahn's been hitting the gym pretty hard too. Did I mention Olyphant's ass??...

Shit, where was I????

Uh, Milla Jovovich and Kiele Sanchez bare enough naked flesh too. That'll keep the guys interested too. Yes, there's something here for everyone. Except for maybe people who don't like stupid twists and self-aware scripts.

Ayup, the funny script and intentional oddness can't quite carry off the movie's mid-point twist (to say there's a twist isn't really a spoiler; the script constantly leads you to expect one, which is kinda annoying). It tries, but Perfect Getaway never really recovers. The final half hour or so is as stupid as you can get. (want it spoiled? Then roll over, dear readers: Zahn and Jovovich turn out to be the killers). But if you can forgive this bit of silliness, then Perfect Getaway is a very worthwhile, entertaining little thriller. Outstanding.