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Dead By Words

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Western

Review – A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

An atmospheric, beautifully shot Iranian vampire Western, A Girl Walks… is a stunning film which also features one of the best cats in cinema – just as good as Ulysses from Inside Llewyn Davis.

Arash (Arash Marandi) is a hardworking young man who cares for his drug addict father. He also looks super cool, like James Dean. The Girl (Sheila Vand) stalks the streets of Bad City dressed in a chādor, taking drug dealers as her vampiric victims, and listens to moody indie music in her home. One night Arash and The Girl meet – Arash aptly dressed as Dracula, straying from a Halloween party – and she takes him back to her apartment. The rest…that’d be telling.

There are nods to David Lynch throughout – the point of view night time driving, people dancing and throwing strange shapes, the general oddness – and it’s an achingly hip film. Vand is captivating as the quiet but threatening Girl, and Marandi is an old school cinematic heart throb. Be prepared to be absorbed into the strange goings on in Bad City, and to be swallowed by this movie.

GORE RATING: 1/5

SCARES: 2/5

DISTURBIA: 1/5

RATING: 7/10

Watch it for: The cinematography is exquisite

Watch out for: Finger lickin’ good 

Review: The Devil’s Rejects (2005)

Rob Zombie’s sequel to 2003’s House of 1000 Corpses is a fantastic piece of filmmaking – set to a 70s soundtrack of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers and Joe Walsh, this exploitation film is brutal and sadistic, showcasing the talents of Zombie as a director and screenwriter. It’s one hell of a ride – a western, a revenge flick, throw in a bit of torture porn and a little mix of road movie – delivered with style and substance. It feels more whole compared to 1000 Corpses, which was gloriously demented and all over the place.

Rejects follows on neatly from the previous movie, as Sheriff John Wydell (William Forsythe) and his State Troopers bust the Firefly family home, the scene of over 75 grisly murders. With Mother Firefly (Leslie Easterbrook) taken in, Otis (Bill Moseley) and Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie) escape and vow to meet up with Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) at a nearby motel. Of course they do anything to get by…thrown in with the usual unnecessary torture and murder.

The film concentrates on Wydell’s hunt for the gruesome trio, across dusty Texan landscapes and via a seedy brothel. The cinematography by Phil Parmet itself is stunning, something Zombie brings to all of his films; his take on Halloween was also divinely shot. All actors put in formidable performances; Forsythe’s Wydell hell-bent on his own form of justice, and Spaulding, Otis and Baby taken with a huge dose of black humour as they dish out their perverse violence.

It’s an intelligent movie, and not quite the ‘nasty’ a lot of media have made it out to be.

TOTAL RATING: 7/10

GORE RATING: 3/5

SCARES: 1/5

DISTURBIA: 4/5

Watch it for: Sheri Moon Zombie’s wonderful Baby

Watch out for: THAT truck. Aaaaargh!

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