Cheap Thrills: Shock Value

Ever since the image of a woman’s eyeball being sliced with a razor was dreamt up by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, a whole renegade strand of cinema has delighted in brutally assaulting its audience, violently forcing it to face the gory nature of the body and the mulchy depths of the psyche. The cinematic... Continue Reading →

Evolution: Interview with Lucile Hadzihalilovicz

Lucile Hadžihalilovic explains how she created her oneiric exploration of birth and matter in an elusive, disquieting female world. Evolution, Lucile Hadžihalilovic’s masterful follow-up to her 2004 debut Innocence revolves around a little boy living on an island peopled only by women and other young boys. After a disturbing discovery while swimming in the sea,... Continue Reading →

Fresh Meat: Interview with Julia Ducournau

French medical schools are notorious for the humiliating hazing rituals that new students have to endure, and that tradition is the framework for young writer-director Julia Ducournau’s cannibalistic rites-of-passage tale. In the self-contained space of a vet school, older students subject new arrivals to cruel games, forcing them to eat raw rabbits’ livers or crawl... Continue Reading →

The End: An Electric Sheep Anthology

I commissioned and edited a collection of essays looking at the theme of 'the end' in cinema, in words and images, and from an extensive range of angles, the unfinished, the decaying, the apocalyptic, the undead, the historical, the end as fate and the end as denouement. From the gutter to the avant garde, The... Continue Reading →

Alucarda: The Seed of Panic

After producing Alejandro Jodorowsky’s incendiary first feature Fando y Lis (1968) as well as El topo (1970), Juan López Moctezuma went behind the camera in 1971 to make The Mansion of Madness (released in 1973), which was loosely based on an Edgar Allan Poe story. He followed it up with two vampire stories, Mary, Mary,... Continue Reading →

Into the Forbidden Zone with Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Despite being one of the most accomplished, intelligent and adventurous filmmakers to come out of Japan in recent years, Kiyoshi Kurosawa has inexplicably been ignored in this country. With the overrated Ring spawning a seemingly unquenchable thirst for anything that more or less fitted the ‘J-horror’ label, it looked like Kurosawa came to maturity just... Continue Reading →

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