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Friday Film News

By sizemore Last edited 138 months ago
Friday Film News
punishment_park.jpg

It may seem odd after the events of yesterday that the Londonist staff are eager to hand over some cash to sit through a horror movie of all things, but damn it we need to see The Descent. Not everyone's cup of celluloid perhaps, but in our opinion you can't mess with the people responsible for Dog Soldiers - a movie that restored our faith in the British horror movie. Last month we were lucky enough to see a few snippets at the one day Frightfest and heard from director Neil Marshall about what was in store for us in this tale of potholing gone wrong. It's nice to see that the critics agree (on the whole) that if you like a good cinematic scare then this film is the dog's bollocks. Here's The Times:

"It’s embarrassing to admit this, but I spent half the film with a finger in my left ear and a hand in front of my eyes... The brute power of Marshall’s film is how fear loosens both senses and loyalties. The chills are old-fashioned. But the production values are terrific. The moments of crisis are filmed like epileptic fits. The gore leaves nothing to the imagination and everything to your next nightmare"

Sounds fantastic. Anthony Quinn also got a good jolt or two saying that "Once the frights began I was jumping from my seat as if poked in the back by a cattle-prod". Surely Peter Bradshaw

is above this kind of thing? "It's a bit like The Great Escape, only without the Escape" Apparently not.

More very late-in-the-day Friday Film News after the jump...

Another film we've waited a long time to see is Punishment Park. We've already got our tickets for this and it only took us thirty-four years. Made in 1971 this was 'lost' only days after it first screened because of it's now eerily familiar storyline. In a future that never quite unfolded political dissidents and just about anyone opposed to the totalitarian government are sent to boot camps to endure what now looks like an advertisement for a reality TV show from say 2008.

The Times gives it 3 stars saying:

"The real value of the re- release is what it tells us about the cyclical nature of subsidised fear, and the ever-fashionable faith in witch-hunts. The panic buttons are red, fat and obvious. Our desire to press them is downright scary."

Bradshaw's review also has us chomping at the bit:

"The crisp voice of a BBC announcer narrates a pseudo-documentary, showing students and dissidents being hauled up in front of a reactionary board of accusers. They are offered a choice of 20 years in jail or four days in Punishment Park"

Other films on release this weekend that you may want to check out include Overnight, a documentary with a good buzz around it concerning how Miramax raise and eventually destroy film-makers as soon as the Weinstein's get involved. If you've read Down and Dirty Pictures by Peter Biskind (and you really should) then this is a must see.

Korean animation Sky Blue is also finally released. We saw this on the festival circuit and we love Korean cinema, but as beautiful as this is to look at it's a bit of a mixed bag. Maybe go see it if you really can't bare the thought of underground mutants chewing their way through the screen to get at you.

Trailer of the week? We hope it doesn't matter that this has been around for a while, but we wanted to leave you with something uplifting and who can resist dancing children? Mad Hot Ballroom

Last Updated 09 July 2005