'Lost in the Multiplex's' very own Lord of the Flea-pit, Julian White writes on film and horror for various sites and magazines, as well as blogging about cult movies. He plans to publish a long horror novel called 'The Diviners' just as soon as the strange voice coming from the filing cabinet stops dictating revisions. He currently lives in the 1980s.
Website URL: http://diabolicalcinema.blogspot.com
Bradley Scott Sullivan's debut feature starts strongly and messily, with a bloody corpse on the road, a confused and scared cop uncertain what to do, and a blinded girl wandering the woods, one of her eyeballs left behind on the end of a branch like a pickled onion on a cocktail stick. It's quite an opening, and it's all shot with a twitchy, grainy, grindhousey 70 feel.
In the 1980s, Howard Brenton made something of a habit of shocking the establishment. He did it on the stage of the National Theatre with his play The Romans in Britain, which featured scenes of male nudity and buggery, prompting a lawsuit from Mary Whitehouse. And he did it at the BBC with Dead Head (1986), a four-part serial which became front page news courtesy of a kinky naked-but-for-a-pair-of-wellies sex scene.
Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is a work of epic grandeur, granite simplicity and shattering sincerity. The Hobbit, by comparison, is a bright, breezy jeu d'esprit – a much lesser work if judged by the same standards, but with its own distinct charm. All of which would would suggest that the two works would require radically different approaches when adapted for the cinema.
If you were to judge by the title alone and the fact that it was helmed by horror maestro George A. Romero, you might expect Knightriders to be some gory post-apocalyptic tale with ironclad bikers taking arms against the forces of evil, on the lines of Excalibur meets Mad Max. Actually, it's simultaneously much stranger and rather more humdrum than that.
The second of Christian Duguay's Scanners sequels concerns brother and sister Alex (Steve Parrish) and Helena (Liliana Komorowska), two scanner orphans who have been adopted by the head honcho of a pharmaceutical company. After accidentally hurling his best friend over a penthouse balcony, Alex goes to a monastery in Thailand to learn to master his powers using the “long breath method”. Helena, meanwhile, is tortured by crippling headaches, and, desperate for relief, helps herself to a prototype skin patch, EPH-3, devised by her father. It works, but induces a radical personality change in the hitherto mild-mannered girl.