Friday, 31 December 2010

2010 Over

Across the year I've managed to endure 181 films and now as 2010 rolls to a close it's time to indulge in a spot of obsessive list making under the flimsy veil of stepping back to assess the year.

Most end of year film lists concern themselves with cinema releases, so I've blindly followed suit and compiled 10 favourites, but the big screen isn't the whole story here at The Ape. It's also about hunting for gems outside of the regular film watching avenues and tolerating an abnormal amount of complete crap in the process and to honour these facets of the blog there's also 5 little screen gems alongside the 10 worst abhorrencies that flopped across my retinas, irrespective of screen size.

Enough waffle, to the lists:

10 Favourite New Big Screen Films:

1: Bad Lieutenant
A never less than gleeful pairing of Herzog and Cage that pushes drug addled lunacy to a remarkable level of graceful genius, the soul-dancing scene alone is enough to make this number one.
Fucking Iguanas.

2: Inception
Superb style amalgam that saw extravagant action set pieces pinned into place by an immensely enjoyable unravelling puzzle. Similar, I imagine, to watching Professor Layton giving James Bond a good dose of the buggery.

3: Four Lions
Rubber Dinghy Rapids. Pretty much sums it up.

4: The Social Network
Given how senselessly boring and fucking tedious it is in everyday life I never thought that such and engrossing movie could be wrangled out of people talking to each other.

5: Toy Story 3
Incredibly affecting litany of primary colours which contains both a funny bit with a cucumber and an exploration of the emotional turmoil that comes with the vampiric curse of agelessness.

6: Shutter Island
Mesmerising dream imagery punctuates a brilliant detective tale which is the cinematic equivalent of that duck/rabbit visual illusion, the twist being a simple shift in perception.

7: Monsters
Succeeds by eschewing the standard monster movie razzle dazzle and instead opts for an all pervading gentleness.

8: Rare Exports
Menace, dread and Christmas steadily combine in perfect ratio resulting in the breathtaking sight of scores of naked old men running through a snowy mountainous backdrop chasing a helicopter full of kidnapped children.

9: Predators
A lesson in how to successfully hark back to big, dumb eighties action fun when plot was acceptably secondary to crazed baddies, breathless gunfights and witty one liners.

10: The Hole In 3D
More eighties throwback fun, but this time it's a kids movie remade through the sombre lense of modern japanese horror cinema.

5 Favourite Little Screen Films:

1: A Serbian Film [Srpski film]
Expert decent into bleakness laced with apalling imagery. It probably isn't the deep allegorical parable talked about as the excuse for such nastiness, but it is like Cronenberg's Videodrome with Hardcore Porn replacing Television and that's good enough for me.

2: Valhalla Rising
The point at which primitive brutal violence, vibrantly coloured graphic novels and Andrei Tarkovsky meet.

3: A Town Called Panic [Panique au village]
Many things accused of being zany and inventive blatantly aren't. This blatantly is. I feel almost privileged to be able to partake in such a unique sense of humour.

4: Rec 2
Makes the statement "When we run out of new ideas, let us take the most disparate of the old ones and force them together into well honed genius" and sticks to it.

5: White Ribbon [Das weisse Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte]
Has just enough of the story filled in to create an astonishingly vivid portrayal of turn of the century German village life and enough blanks left out to make the sense of cloying threat that preempts the country's future history genuinely insidious.

10 Shittest Films:

1: The Last Airbender
A film whose high point was somebody pointing at a child and shouting 'he's a bender' which in enjoyment levels puts it on a par with standing in the dinner queue at primary school. Given Shyamalan is now blatantly refusing to listen to anybody, the next step is to tattoo 'Complete Shit' on the inside of his arsehole and see if he gets the hint the next time he jams his head up there.

2: American Psycho 2
Fucking awful cash in that is such an insult to the original, whilst being an embarassment to itself, that I'm amazed that Brett Easton Ellis hasn't attempted some kind of suicide bombing on Hollywood.

3: Cats & Dogs: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore/Furry Vengeance
I couldn't decide which was more asinine, talking animals or Brendan Fraser. However the argument is eclipsed by a far bigger question which is why do people keep putting either of them in new films?

4: A Nightmare On Elm Street [2010 Remake]
As Hollywood's remake obsession becomes more and more desperate we got this before original Elm St had time to get cold in the memory. I can only assume this was done to ensure clarity in the viewer that the new version was unmitigated bollocks both by comparison and on its own terms.

5: Prince Of Persia
Jake Gyllenhall made me wish I was watching Donnie Darko, Ben Kingsley made me wish I was watching Sexy Beast and Gemma Arterton made me wish I was watching anything but this moronic shit.

6: Haunting In Connecticut
Massively distasteful, badly played out nonsense with the added insult of purporting to be true because there had actually been a haunting reported in Connecticut some time in the eighties which was nothing to do with anything in this film.

7: Acacia
Redefined tedium and did so with a glaring absence of style usually associated with Asian horror cinema.

8: Ghost In The Shell: Innocence
Would frequently get so lost in bad philosophical codshit that it appeared to forget altogether that it was meant to be a sequel to Ghost In The Shell. In fact it forgot altogether that it was meant to be enjoyable, exciting or watchable.

9: Wolfman
Fumbled disaster with Anthony Hopkins scoring the incredible feat of sneering contemptuously at a film he was starring in whilst he was acting in it. There's foresight.

10: The Last Exorcism
Promises and then thinks it's being clever by refusing to deliver before melting down in a train wreck of ugly stupidity.

I raise my glass to 2011 and another year filled to the brim like Baulty's teas with both the absurd and the complete turds. Bring them on.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Teenage Hooker Became A Killing Machine [Daehakno-yeseo maechoon-hadaka tomaksalhae danghan yeogosaeng ajik Daehakno-ye Issda]

Made by somebody whose brain is so full of massive pretension that there's no room left for the word 'cut', an important tool if you want to make a film as opposed to an effluent stream of incoherent bollocks. The high point was discovering the Second Assistant Director was somebody called 'In-Bum Woo'.

The Bloody Exorcism Of Coffin Joe [Exorcismo Negro]

Family Christmas/demonic possesion story that really hits its stride when Coffin Joe appears sparking a shitstorm of human staircases, satanic weddings and rampant cannibalism that culminates in a postmodern exorcism showdown with the film's director.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

The Brood

Totally brilliant Cronenberg effort that begins as a vehicle for Oliver Reed to furiously power act at everything and ends with the truly spectacular notion of viscious emotion controlled mutant children produced via some seriously errant psychotherapy.

Monday, 20 December 2010

The Love Bug

I'm sure there's something good to be said for being inoffensive and pleasantly kitsch, i'm just not the person to be saying it.

The Baby's Room [La habitación del niño]

There's obvious brilliance in this spanish, made for TV, haunted house via quantum physics yarn but it ultimately feels like a rough sketch of something better.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Cannibal Ferox [Make Them Die Slowly]

Gloriously stupid.

Christmas Evil [You Better Watch Out]

Plenty of Christmas, very little evil.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

The Tourist

Limp euroromp bollocks with a plot constructed out of numerous failed attempts to hark back to a golden era of Hollywood.
Jolie floats through the whole thing like a bored goddess, Depp constantly looks like a dog that's just been told off and the writers see fit to employ twists that undermine everything the film is trying so desperately hard to be.

Wallace & Gromit in The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit

When people talk of Pixar as being peerless they've forgotten about Nick Park.

Thursday, 9 December 2010


Argento wins again by abandoning all coherence and hastily inventing a mythology to contain a series of vignettes where everything is hopelessly over stylised and somebody always dies horribly.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

A jet black interpretation of the Santa Claus myth, which leans heavily on pagan roots, is the seedbed for the best Christmas movie I've seen by a country mile and one of the finest movies to be produced in 2010.

Saturday, 4 December 2010


I was hesitant about posting something that basically amounts to hardore pornography from the tailend of a late seventies movement attempting a push into the mainstream via an over saturation of arthouse surrealism.
However two standout scenes earn it a place in my quest to have my face pushed into cinema's underbelly. The first, in which a man dressed as a giant cereal box is graphically fellated whilst another chap dressed as a piece of toast dementedly leaps about playing a saxaphone, being far superseded by the second whereby a lady grasps a sturdy erection only to discover in drawn out horror that she is actually holding a stillborn foetus.
And this was meant to turn people on?

Thursday, 2 December 2010


Foolish soap opera formed out of a myriad of moments that are obviously intended to elicit a 'WTF?' but only ever really managed to get the occasional 'fuck off'.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

One Millon Years B.C.

Sublime combination of sordid trash, experimental cinema and giant animals.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

American: The Bill Hicks Story

Flatly animated photographs backdrop banal storytelling (as well as an awful 'on drugs' sequence) which fills time between slivers of outstanding Hicks performances, of which the familiar steadfastedly refuse to grow tired and the fresh pull forth uncontrollable belches of laughter.

The Spongebob Squarepants Movie

Abject lunacy.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

The Host [Gwoemul]

The kind of thing I would expect to see if somebody were to tell me that Wes Anderson was remaking Godzilla, i.e. an eccentric, dysfunctional family, a smaller monster and huge swathes of excellence throughout.

Thursday, 25 November 2010


Mediocre thriller by a director so desperate to make a ghost story that nothing will deter him, not even the small but vital fact that this is not a ghost story.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Jackass 3D

Offers nothing new, which is good because with Jackass I don't want anything new just more of the same laugh a minute idiocy.
By the end I was satisfied that I would no longer require any more Jackass in my life. Then the film surprised me by providing a fond goodbye, which inevitably left me yearning for an encore.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

A Bucket Of Blood

Corman's name is usually a byword for cheap nonsense, but here is a story that wouldn't look out of place on a Hitchcock TV series infused with an intelligence that creates a blackly satirical and extremely enjoyable swipe at beatnik culture.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Tango & Cash

More accurately titled 'Tango & Cash: A Load Of Bollocks Things Happening In The Eighties'.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Ninja Assassin

A torrent of ludicrous hokum about a super secret group of hyper efficient assassins, which sporadically lapses into a ninja version of Aliens, props up some pretty good fights the best being a load of ninjas having a scrap in the middle of insanely heavy traffic, at night.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Friday the 13th Part 3 [3D]

Brilliantly shit exploitation of the third dimension.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Monsters Inc.

The best I could come up with for this was 'quite nice', although Charlotte disagreed insisting that it was awesome.
Although, she also said it was easily as good as Cats And Dogs 2, which greatly confused me and left me with severe doubts about her abilities to judge cinema.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

What Have They Done To Your Daughters? [La polizia chiede aiuto/The Coed Murders]

Neat little gem that unspools a standard giallo thriller, only told from the highly procedural viewpoint of the homicide investigation into the obligatory deaths, the end result being a sort of half-baked, sleazy, italian David Fincher movie.
This is the kind of thing people should be remaking.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Due Date

Wooden retelling of Planes, Trains & Automobiles.

A Town Called Panic [Panique au village]

If you've ever watched those Cravendale adverts and thought 'They should make a movie like this' (and goodness knows, I have) then you should immediately seek this film out with a level of urgency usually associated with preventing the onset of life changing disease. Yes, it's really that good.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

City Of The Living Dead [Paura nella città dei morti viventi/The Gates Of Hell]

Dots of mirthful outrageousness (such as an undead priest staring at a girl so hard that she vomits out her internal organs before tearing her boyfriends brain through the back of his head) unfortunately joined up by a scraggly biro line of cardboard acting, shoddy effects and teleporting zombies that renders the whole affair so dull it took three attempts to get through it.
I'm glad I made the effort though, primarily due to the preposterous synth-techno zombie inferno climax that closes the whole mess.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Let Me In

Ineffectual streamlining of an already brilliant film.
There is a level of competence along with fleeting glimpses of originality that suggest Reeves should be making a movie of his own instead of remaking somebody else's as a ponderous failure.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

[Rec] 2

Takes a disparate array of familiar, well worn horror movie themes and combines them in wholly original ways creating a sequel so fantastic that it forces re-evaluation of the original as a tense prologue for greatness.
Worth watching if only to bask in the rarity of a horror movie that gets better with every scene and doesn't fumble the ball once.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

The Human Centipede [First Sequence]

This Halloween I watched a pair of girls, afflicted with incredible levels of cliche, meet one of cinemas finest mad german scientists who uses them to realise an idea that is theoretically abhorrent but in actuality boils down to a bunch of people crying into each others asses.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Legend Of The Guardians : The Owls Of Ga'Hoole [3D]

Flimsy good vs evil propaganda acting as a vehicle for Zack Snyder to prove that slow motion is his bitch for anybody who still remains unaware of such a fact.
Proof: "Hey Charlotte what did you make of the owl movie?", "Not much, it was a bit weird", "What about the slow fighting stuff?", "COOL!"

Friday, 29 October 2010


I had resigned classic Disney animation to the same dumping ground as Santa and the Tooth Fairy, i.e. something you don't really believe in now you're all grown up.
Dumbo demonstrated that I may have been a little too hasty with such resignation if only for the fact that it contains songs that made me smile, as opposed to grind my teeth for their duration. Oh, and pink elephants.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Bloodsucking Freaks [The Incredible Torture Show]

Completely unhinged schlock.
Essentially a collage of tawdry shock moments, each one delivered with considerable glee, stitched together by a vapid inconsequential plot and rounded out by an ever present maniacal dancing dwarf.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


Total atrocity about a bizarre unexplained spiky mould that menaces a bunch of people whose only defence is a combination of mind numbing stupidity and horrendous, turgid dialogue ("It's ok, we're cutting your arm off" is one of the best).
There was almost a glimmer of something worthwhile when the threat takes on a larger creature form, but eventually I realised I couldn't tell whether people were screaming because they were being attacked by the monster or by the incredibly enthusiastic editing.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Boot Camp

Bland nonsense that seeks to expose the sordid brutality of teenage 'Tough Love' rehabilitation camps by utilising the power of truly shit film making.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

The Adventures Of Mark Twain

A lavish, freaked out advertisement for Plasticine.
Basically a meditation on existence communicated via snippets of Twain's stories and observations, the best bit being when Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn meet Satan who creates an entire city populated by crude replicas of Tony Hart's Morph just to cruelly destroy it all whilst explaining that life is nothing more than a thought within a void.

Despicable Me [3D]

The 3D genuinely wows, the rest underwhelms.
Charlotte said it was 'extremely awesome' so I can only assume that she was in it for the 3D.

Friday, 15 October 2010

The Guard Post [GP506]

When a guard post on the border between the Koreas is discovered with everybody inside chopped to pieces by the only survivor, a man is given a paltry 12 hours to navigate a messy tangle of flashbacks and figure out which film this is most trying to be.
Early indicators point toward The Happening, an unfortunate association that the film never quite manages to shake off.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


A tone perfect marriage of fairytales, Grand Guignol and haunted houses.

Monday, 11 October 2010

The Social Network

Alex likes this.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

A Serbian Film [Srpski film]

Thanks to the finger wagging moron all I was aware of before watching this was the 'Vile and Shocking Content etc'. So it was a surprise to find that the utterly gut churning imagery on offer was neatly embedded in an extremely well made, truly excellent Cronenberg style descent into screaming madness.
Although it does get nasty. Really nasty.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Rest Stop

Offers itself as a confusion of foetid torture nonsense and a piss poor ghost story, such indecision causing it to be far less than the pitiful sum of its parts.

The Hole In 3D

Dark menace manifesting in dull suburbia? Check.
Diminutive terror running round cackling and throwing things? Check.
Liberal sprayings of obscure film references throughout? Check.
Dick Miller in the middle looking bewildered? Check.
Ah, that'll be a complete return to form for Joe Dante then.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Alice In Acidland

Shows girls imbibing vast quantities of drugs and liquor before going on to frantically dry hump anything that moves whilst a man constantly tells you that this is BAD.
After an hour of this I was slightly bored and fairly convinced that the man was wrong, they appeared to be having a wail of a time. In order to back up his prior assertations the man then shows that the titular Alice is now a TOTAL MENTAL VEGETABLE, and furthermore this state is her Acidland!
I felt somewhat cheated.

Monday, 4 October 2010


Astonishingly well drawn slice of magic that never sweetens it's moral pill, naughty boys turning into donkeys still freaks me out. Particularly the ones that can still talk, what do they do with them ?

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Sky High

Made me faintly nauseous.
Charlotte kept saying 'WOAH!' an awful lot.
The continuing divergence of our film opinions just notched up a gear.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010


Slight coming of age fluff played against a backdrop of affectionate nostalgia that appears to be portraying the origin of rave culture.

Monday, 27 September 2010

The Town

Held up against the canon of cinematic crime dramas, this musters an 'above average'.
Held up against the canon of Ben Affleck movies, this swings in at a comfortable 'really very good'.

Thursday, 23 September 2010


Lumbering nonsense seemingly built on the notion that a belief in the ineffectuality of the police will render you with a single digit IQ.
Changes tack several times due to what the director seems to think are twists but he's deluding himself, it's just meandering shit.